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    #1

    who/which

    Hi

    From my window I can see a dog who/which lives in the kennel.

    --- Is it correct to use either "which" or "who"?

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    #2

    Re: who/which

    We usually use 'who' for people and 'which' for animals and things. 'That' can be used with both.

    However 'who' may be used with animals if you consider them part of your family; eg. pets

    This is just theory and natives should say what and how they use in everyday life.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: who/which

    I would say either "who" or "that" in that sentence.

    Although I've since been told that they way I learned it is no longer a rule, I still use "which" to introduce non-essential information and "who/that" to introduce essential information.

    I can see a dog, which [in case you are interested] lives in a kennel.
    In can see a dog that lives in a kennel.
    I can see a dog who lives in a kennel. -- I would use the "who" only if I felt some relationship with the dog. I stop and talk to it every day on my way to work, etc.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. #4

    Re: who/which

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    From my window I can see a dog who/which lives in the kennel.

    --- Is it correct to use either "which" or "who"?
    Technically, neither is correct. "Who" is reserved for people and, in some cases, known animals. "Which" is used for nonrestrictive relative clauses, e.g., "Nabakov's first book, which he wrote in Russian, never became a classic."

    The relative pronoun you want to use in this case is "that," which is used for restrictive relative clauses.

    Some people will argue with me, because the rules regarding relative pronouns and restrictive/nonrestrictive clauses are seen as flexible and frequently transgressed by native speakers. What I'm giving you is the traditional prescriptivist response that does not reflect actual popular usage.

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    #5

    Re: who/which

    [QUOTE=Mr. Spivey;583001]Technically, neither is correct. "Who" is reserved for people and, in some cases, known animals. "Which" is used for nonrestrictive relative clauses, e.g., "Nabakov's first book, which he wrote in Russian, never became a classic."

    The relative pronoun you want to use in this case is "that," which is used for restrictive relative clauses.

    The book which I borrowed on Friday is very interesting.

    According to what you're saying, do you think that 'that' should be used in the above sentence? I find it perfectly OK with 'which'.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: who/which

    It seems Mr. Spivey was taught the same rule I was. I would have written your sentence either as

    The book, which [by the way] I borrowed on Friday, is very interesting.
    or
    The book that I borrowed on Friday [telling me which specific book you mean] is very interesting.

    However, I acknowledge that this "rule" is no longer considered valid.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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