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  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    who or that

    Dear friends...

    I would like your opinions on this:

    a) I hit my wife's brother that/who was visiting us.
    b) Who is this friend? That one that/who lives in France?


    Which ones would you choose? Is there any difference between them?

    Many thanks

  2. PlacidRan's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: who or that

    a) I hit my wife's brother that/who was visiting us.

    Either one is fine, but I'd go with who.

    b) Who is this friend? That one that/who lives in France?

    That, in this case. However, I would re-write the sentence, so it would look like this: Who is this friend? The one that lives in France?

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    #3

    Re: who or that

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    Dear friends...

    I would like your opinions on this:

    a) I hit my wife's brother that/who was visiting us.
    b) Who is this friend? That one that/who lives in France?


    Which ones would you choose? Is there any difference between them?

    Many thanks

    According to me, we can use both that and who in this case. But :
    " Do you know the man, who is standing there ?"
    We can't replace who by that in the sentence above because of the comma !

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: who or that

    Simple rule (with few exceptions):

    When talking about people, use "who".
    When talking about animals/inanimate objects etc, use "that/which" etc.

    That's the man who I hit.
    I saw my sister-in-law, who was visiting from Germany.
    Those are the boys who stole my car.

    That's the table that I want to buy.
    I saw an aeroplane which was painted bright pink.
    There's the dog that bit my brother.

  4. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: who or that

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetThief View Post
    According to me, we can use both that and who in this case. But :
    " Do you know the man, who is standing there ?"
    We can't replace who by that in the sentence above because of the comma !
    Sorry but why would someone use comma in that sentence?

  5. #6

    Re: who or that

    My understanding of relative pronouns is:

    people -> who(subjective)/whom(objective)/whose(possessive)
    things/animals -> which
    places -> where

    Who and which can both be replaced by that but it makes the sentence sound more casual, in formal English that shouldn't be used to replace either of them.

    James
    Last edited by JamesAtRealize; 24-Jul-2010 at 16:07.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: who or that

    Quote Originally Posted by fighting spirit View Post
    Sorry but why would someone use comma in that sentence?
    That is a very good question. No comma required!

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    #8

    Re: who or that

    Quote Originally Posted by fighting spirit View Post
    Sorry but why would someone use comma in that sentence?
    Relative Clauses consist : Defining Relative Clauses (DRC) and Non-defining Relative Clauses (NDRC)
    I'll give you some examples:
    " The large car which uses too much gasoline is hers"
    " Her car, which is very large, uses too much gasoline. "

    The first sentence is "DRC" and the second is "NDRC"
    In the second sentence, "which is very large" is only the supporting information and it is not important to the remains of the sentence : " uses too much gasoline" .
    Another example:
    "This book, which I borrowed from you, is very interesting."

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: who or that

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetThief View Post
    Relative Clauses consist : Defining Relative Clauses (DRC) and Non-defining Relative Clauses (NDRC)
    I'll give you some examples:
    " The large car which uses too much gasoline is hers"
    " Her car, which is very large, uses too much gasoline. "

    The first sentence is "DRC" and the second is "NDRC"
    In the second sentence, "which is very large" is only the supporting information and it is not important to the remains of the sentence : " uses too much gasoline" .
    Another example:
    "This book, which I borrowed from you, is very interesting."
    All agreed - use of commas in those sentences are required. But the sentence quoted was:

    " Do you know the man, who is standing there?"

    No comma is required. "Do you know the man who is standing there?"

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