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    #1

    that? or which?

    In the following sentence which is correct ("that" or "which"?

    (1) The main building, that houses the superior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    (2) The main building, which houses the suprerior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    I would have said that either 'that" or "which" could be used here, but my student, who is studying for the TOEIC, tells me that the key says that "which" must be used here...why would this be?

    Thanks in advance...

    Catherine C.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: that? or which?

    I prefer (2), but the rule is now blurring, and both are frequent. Which introduces a parenthetical adjectivial clause, giving more details.

  2. anupumh's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: that? or which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine C. View Post
    In the following sentence which is correct ("that" or "which"?

    (1) The main building, that houses the superior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    (2) The main building, which houses the suprerior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    I would have said that either 'that" or "which" could be used here, but my student, who is studying for the TOEIC, tells me that the key says that "which" must be used here...why would this be?

    Thanks in advance...

    Catherine C.
    The option 2 with "which" sounds better...

  3. anupumh's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: that? or which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine C. View Post
    In the following sentence which is correct ("that" or "which"?

    (1) The main building, that houses the superior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    (2) The main building, which houses the suprerior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    I would have said that either 'that" or "which" could be used here, but my student, who is studying for the TOEIC, tells me that the key says that "which" must be used here...why would this be?

    Thanks in advance...

    Catherine C.
    Who vs That vs Which

    Rule 1. Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.
    Examples: Anya is the one who rescued the bird.
    Lokua is on the team that won first place.
    She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species.


    Rule 2. That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.
    Examples: I do not trust products that claim "all natural ingredients" because this phrase can mean almost anything.
    We would not know which products were being discussed without the that clause.
    The product claiming "all natural ingredients," which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale.
    The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.
    NOTE: Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.


    Rule 3. If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.
    Examples: That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
    Those ideas, which we've discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.
    NOTE: Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.
    Example: That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
    Better: That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.

    Who vs. Which vs. That | Grammar Rules

    You can get more help on the matter with these links...

    That vs Which - Difference and Comparison - Diffen
    World Wide Words: Which versus that
    That Versus Which
    That vs. Which
    Adjective*Clauses - That vs. Which: Identifying a Noun With a Modifying Clause
    Last edited by anupumh; 28-Oct-2009 at 18:56.

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    #5

    Re: that? or which?

    Sorry, but one or two corrections are required here:

    Rule 1. Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.

    In fact, 'that' can perfectly well refer to (individual) people as well:

    Anya is the one that rescued the bird.


    Rule 2. That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.

    'Which' can introduce either type of clause. Only 'that' is restricted - in careful usage - to one type, the restrictive (a.k.a. 'essential') clause.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: that? or which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine C. View Post
    In the following sentence which is correct ("that" or "which"?

    (1) The main building, that houses the superior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    (2) The main building, which houses the suprerior officers, has an electronically monitored gate.

    I would have said that either 'that" or "which" could be used here, but my student, who is studying for the TOEIC, tells me that the key says that "which" must be used here...why would this be?

    Thanks in advance...

    Catherine C.
    "that" does not seem right to me.
    This is a clause that adds additional information. It's a "non-restrictive which clause". This type of sentence is made for ", which ... , ".

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    #7

    Re: that? or which?

    I think there does not come comma before that in relative clauses.

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    #8

    Re: that? or which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcano1985 View Post
    I think there does not come comma before that in relative clauses.
    You are correct, since relative clauses introduced by 'that' are (or should be) restrictive, and restrictive clauses are written without commas.

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