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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    which/that

    Hello English experts

    I think I have completely lost the track when to use which and that.
    Although I discussed that topic (off-topic) with some members, I would like to ask if these sentences are okay:
    This is a problem that everyone knows about.
    (euncu suggested me to use that instead of which.)
    It's the movies that makes them think this way. (movies = cinema -> makes - in this case)
    (bhaisahab told me to use that here.)
    Computers that use Windows 95 don't exist anymore.
    (Here I choose that because you describe the computer directly.)
    Computers which change our life will always exist, which can be both good and bad.
    (Here I choose which because it's shown how they affect your life; you don't really describe the computer.)
    My cat died, which hurts.
    My cat, which is 5 years old, will be castrated tomorrow.
    Cats that are 5 years old get castrated.
    Is there pet which can lose your love?
    Are there pets that can lose your love?

    Okay, I hope most of that is correct.
    I have no idea if
    euncu's and bhaisahab's suggestions are good, but I believe it.
    But I don't think I'm able to explain it to anyone...
    I know there are restrictive clauses (like the "My cat, which is..., will") and non restrictive clauses like "Cats that are...")

    P.S: As always, don't focus too much on sense since meaningful examples are my big weak point..
    .

    Cheers!

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    #2

    Re: which/that

    I don't know the difference between them. so, I'm waiting an explanation about the difference.
    what I know about them are,

    Which,
    1 - used in questions and structures in which there is a fixed or limited set of answers or possibilities) what one or ones.
    2 - used to add extra information to a previous clause, in writing usually after a comma.
    3 - used as the subject or object of a verb to show what thing or things you are referring to, or to add information about the thing just mentioned. It is usually used for things, not people.

    That,
    1 - used to refer to a person, object, idea, etc. which is separated from the speaker by space or time.
    2 - used to introduce a clause which reports something or gives further information, although it can often be left out.
    3 - used as the subject or object of a verb to show which person or thing you are referring to, or to add information about a person or thing just mentioned. It is used for both people and things. It can often be left out.
    And more and more, I cannot abbreviate its using here. I thing you get the basis.

    But what is the difference between them. please clear more.
    Last edited by Atchan; 08-Jun-2010 at 23:45.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: which/that

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello English experts

    I think I have completely lost the track when to use which and that.
    Although I discussed that topic (off-topic) with some members, I would like to ask if these sentences are okay:
    This is a problem that everyone knows about.
    That's a good sentence.

    (euncu suggested me to use that instead of
    which.)

    It's the movies that makes them think this way.
    (movies = cinema -> makes - in this case)
    That's a good sentence.

    (bhaisahab told me to use that here.
    )

    Computers that use Windows 95 don't exist anymore.
    That's a good sentence.

    (Here I choose that because you describe the computer directly.)
    Computers which change our life will always exist, which can be both good and bad.
    That's a good sentence.

    (Here I choose which because it's shown how they affect your life; you don't really describe the computer.)
    My cat died, which hurts.
    That's a good sentence.
    My cat, which is 5 years old, will be castrated tomorrow.
    That's a good sentence.
    Cats that are 5 years old get castrated.
    That's a good sentence.
    Is there a pet which can lose your love?
    That's a good sentence.
    Are there pets that can lose your love?
    That's a good sentence.

    Okay, I hope most of that is correct. They're all correct - even if others would write them differently.

    I have no idea if
    euncu's and bhaisahab's suggestions are good, but I believe it.
    Did euncu or bhaisahab say you had to change your preferred sentence, or was it a "I would say ..." suggestion?
    There's a difference.

    R.

  3. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: which/that

    Thanks, guys!

    @Raymott:
    Computers that use Windows 95 don't exist anymore.
    That's a good sentence.

    Computers which change our life will always exist, which can be both good and bad.
    That's a good sentence.

    Can I also use which for sentence 1 and that for sentence 2?
    I don't think it would be a good idea.


    Did euncu or bhaisahab say you had to change your preferred sentence, or was it a "I would say ..." suggestion?
    There's a difference.

    No,
    bhaisahab just corrected my sentence (because it was completely messed up) and he also made a that out of the which.
    euncu just said he would use that for the sentence.Cheers!

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    #5

    Re: which/that

    You might find this link to be useful:

    The Grammarphobia Blog Blog Archive Which hunting

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: which/that

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Thanks, guys!

    @Raymott:

    Can I also use which for sentence 1 and that for sentence 2?
    I don't think it would be a good idea.

    You can for the first instance of which and that, but not for the "which" at the end of 2 - in my opinion.

    Computers which use Windows 95 don't exist anymore.
    Computers that change our life will always exist, which can be both good and bad.
    I really can't see a problem here. I'm rather permissive with which and that. Use "which" if you like, but get the commas right.

    No,
    bhaisahab just corrected my sentence (because it was completely messed up) and he also made a that out of the which.
    euncu just said he would use that for the sentence.

    You see, in English, a suggestion that a certain form is preferable to the writer, or better, is never necessarily a statement that what you've written is wrong.

    There's a lot of freedom of choice.

    Cheers!
    R.

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