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    #1

    when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    I had something similar posted on another thread. I have be informed "that" "which", "that" are relative pronouns.

    I am guessing
    __________________________________________________ ____________
    I have a website that breaks the rules.(correct)

    I have a website which breaks the rules.(incorrect)
    __________________________________________________ ___________
    Guessing

    The antecedant is website "which" is used for additional information, and if i use the term "which" a comma should come before it.



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    #2

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    #3

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    thank you for the reply.

    I have looked at the links and i think both are correct now. If i want to point out the errors of the website. I can use the relative pro noun "that"
    , but if i dont want to make a point. I can use the term "which".

    I hope that is correct.


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    #4

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    "I have a website that has 2,000 hits a day"
    You use 'that' because it serves to identify a specific website - the one that has 2,000 hits versus some other one devoted to farming worms, which only gets a couple of hits a month.
    Use 'which' (preceded by a comma) as the sentence it begins only serves to add more information: the website is already identified as the one devoted to worms AND THEN, incidentally, just for further information, it only gets a couple of hits a month.

    I have a website, which my parents don't know about yet.

    Here, the speaker regards the sentence beginning with 'which' as just additional information, similarly to writing:
    I have a website, but my parents don't know about it.

    I have a blog website, and one for Goths that I keep secret from my parents.
    Here, the 'that' sentence further identifies the website.

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    #5

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    I have a website that breaks the rules.(correct)

    I have a website which breaks the rules.(incorrect)

    Both of those sentences are correct. A North American would probably use "that," while a Brit might use "which." It's the comma that distinguishes a restrictive clause from a non-restrictive one.

  1. #6

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    The relative pronoun "that" and "which" could be used with inanimate objects.

    1. The cat that climbed the tree is not mine.
    2. The cat which climbed the tree is not mine.

    Notice that no commas are used because of the adjective clauses (in red) used in describing the cat.

    However, with commas, it merely provides unimportant information about the cat. In this case, you can only use "which".

    The cat, which climbed the tree, is not mine.

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    #7

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    I like the example about the cat. I think, i have a better understanding .


    The cat, which climbed the tree, is not mine.

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    The objective of the game, so info commas, is to collect four fuel canisters.


    1.The objective of the game, Which, is to collect four fuel canisters.
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    What, could i write between the commas as an example!

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    #8

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    Most times, that and which are interchangeable.

    The classical distinction between a restrictive relative clause and non-restrictive relative clause is a bit vague and in my (not so humble) opinion is getting ever vaguer like Gibbon’s Homoousian and Homoiousian which (that?) “is almost invisible to the nicest theological eye.”

    I defy anybody to tell me which of the examples below are restrictive or nonrestrictive AND make me care.

    Beethoven’s Ninth is a symphony that had a profound influence on all subsequent European music.

    Beethoven’s Ninth is a symphony which had a profound influence on all subsequent European music.

    David was born in the county of Cheshire that is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

    David was born in the county of Cheshire, which is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

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    #9

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    David was born in the county of Cheshire that is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

    David was born in the county of Cheshire, which is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

    I think the difference between those two sentences is that the first one implies the existence of several counties of Cheshire, whereas the second one doesn't.

    But I agree that the distinction between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses is tricky. Usually the context of a sentence tells us what the writer really means.

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    #10

    Re: when to use the relative pronoun "which" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by soutter View Post
    Most times, that and which are interchangeable.

    The classical distinction between a restrictive relative clause and non-restrictive relative clause is a bit vague and in my (not so humble) opinion is getting ever vaguer like Gibbon’s Homoousian and Homoiousian which (that?) “is almost invisible to the nicest theological eye.”

    I defy anybody to tell me which of the examples below are restrictive or nonrestrictive AND make me care.

    Beethoven’s Ninth is a symphony that had a profound influence on all subsequent European music.

    Beethoven’s Ninth is a symphony which had a profound influence on all subsequent European music.

    David was born in the county of Cheshire that is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

    David was born in the county of Cheshire, which is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.
    With respect I disagree. The distinction is generally quite clear and is determined by the presence or absence of commas, or occasionally other orthographical dividers such as dashes or parentheses: essentially (i.e. with occasional exceptions only in the case of highly complex/lengthy sentences) any relative clause that is orthographically divided from its superordinate is by definition nonrestrictive (and can be introduced by 'who' or 'which' but not - at least in careful/formal usage - by 'that'), while any that is not is by definition restrictive (and can be introduced by any of the three forms, although 'that' tends to predominate).

    Your third example, to my mind, is not acceptable, since, by dint of the clause's being restrictive, it implies that there is more than one county of Cheshire, and therefore needs amending to

    David was born in the county of Cheshire, which is located between Staffordshire and Merseyside.

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