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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    who and that

    Hello friends

    It seems that which is not recommendable for such sentences:
    This is a problem which everyone knows.
    It's the movies which makes them think this way.

    Some members suggested to use that instead of which.

    Okay, but what about who?
    You are a guy who can perfectly speak English.
    A person who is rich is also famous.
    Those who try their best will have most success.
    Do you think it's better to use that in such sentences?
    If not, would you please give me an example where you would use who (but where that would be possible, too.)?
    I know that "I know who it did" cannot be "I know that it did"

    Thank you!

    Cheers!

  2. Banned
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    #2

    Re: who and that

    It is the movies which/that make (not makes)... .
    Use 'who' for humans; even so, 'that' is not incorrect.

  3. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: who and that

    "Makes" is correct because it belongs to "it"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    OK yes, in that context "It's the movies that makes them think that way" is correct. If you are using "the movies" as singular, you should be consistent.
    Cheers!

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    #4

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    "Makes" is correct because it belongs to "it"



    Cheers!
    It's the movies [which makes them think this way].
    It's the movies [which make them think this way].

    The subject in the bracketed subordinate clause is 'which'. The main verb in the bracketed subordinate clause is 'make'. 'think' is the non-finite bare infinitive which shows no person and tense. The subject-verb agreement in the subordinate clause means this:

    which = movies (the relative pronoun refers back to the closest NP to it --> which = plural --> make

    QED.

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    #5

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    It's the movies [which makes them think this way].
    It's the movies [which make them think this way].

    The subject in the bracketed subordinate clause is 'which'. The main verb in the bracketed subordinate clause is 'make'. 'think' is the non-finite bare infinitive which shows no person and tense. The subject-verb agreement in the subordinate clause means this:

    which = movies (the relative pronoun refers back to the closest NP to it --> which = plural --> make

    QED.
    I think I have taught myself something today. Consider this sentence:

    It's the movies [which make them think this way].

    If the bracketed part is a relative clause, it means the sentence without it is still grammatical, (but suffers a little loss in meaning, which is peripheral to my present concern).

    It is the movies.

    It = empty subject
    the movies = true subject

    This is not a sentence: Nothing is predicated of the subject. Something is not right. Which way shall I turn now? I think I have the answer. Substitute 'that' for 'which' and think of the subordinate clause as not being a relative clause but a that-complement clause . Thus I get these:

    It's the movies [that make them think this way].
    It's the movies [which make them think this way].

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    I think I have taught myself something today. Consider this sentence:

    It's the movies [which make them think this way].

    If the bracketed part is a relative clause, it means the sentence without it is still grammatical, (but suffers a little loss in meaning, which is peripheral to my present concern).

    It is the movies.

    It = empty subject
    the movies = true subject

    This is not a sentence: Nothing is predicated of the subject. Something is not right. Which way shall I turn now? I think I have the answer. Substitute 'that' for 'which' and think of the subordinate clause as not being a relative clause but a that-complement clause . Thus I get these:

    It's the movies [that make them think this way].
    It's the movies [which make them think this way].
    In your opinion, is "movies" a plural noun?

  7. Trance Freak's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In your opinion, is "movies" a plural noun?
    Maybe s/he thought it was movies (films) not movies (cinema)?!

  8. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: who and that

    I also thought it's films but it belongs to "it"

    Cheers!

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    #9

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello friends

    It seems that which is not recommendable for such sentences:
    This is a problem which everyone knows.
    It's the movies which makes them think this way.

    Some members suggested to use that instead of which.

    Okay, but what about who?
    You are a guy who can perfectly speak English.
    A person who is rich is also famous.
    Those who try their best will have most success.
    Do you think it's better to use that in such sentences?
    If not, would you please give me an example where you would use who (but where that would be possible, too.)?
    I know that "I know who it did" cannot be "I know that it did"

    Thank you!

    Cheers!
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Nightmare, good afternoon.

    (1) I checked my books regarding your very important question.

    (2) "That" was the first (relative) pronoun that the English people used hundreds and hundreds of years ago when they referred to people.
    (3) Today, however, most native speakers feel more "comfortable" using "who" to refer to people.
    (4) There is a "special rule" that you may already know about: when you are NOT referring to a particular person or you are using a superlative adjective (such as "tallest," "fastest," etc.), some people think "that" is "better": Happy is the man that findest (finds) wisdom./It is the wife that decides./ This world is a tragedy to those that feel./He's the kind of person that will never let you down./I'm looking for someone that could give me a ride./Bach is the GREATEST composer that has ever lived.
    (5) You ask whether your three sentences would be "better" with "that."
    I don't know the answer. I think that some people --using the "special rule"-- would say YES, especially your second and third sentences.

    (5) Here are some sentences in which either relative pronoun is "correct": There are people who/that believe everything they read./The girl who/that married dear old dad..../ The man who/that lives next door is friendly./Anyone who/that wants to take the exam must sign up./He who/that would do such a thing would not deserve respect./The boy who/that broke the window..../The person who/that phoned me last night....

    (6) I think that most native speakers would advise that you use "who" whenever it is possible. Many people think using "that" for a human being is very insulting. (Although they may perhaps accept the "special rule" sometimes.)

    Have a nice day!!!

  9. IHIVG's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: who and that

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    Many people think using "that" for a human being is very insulting.
    When I first started learning English I thought nothing is more insulting than calling a person a "thing" . I've seen and heard that pretty often, like: 'Poor thing' or 'You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen'. It made me think that it's considered to be completely normal (or is it actually NOT)

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