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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Smile That or Which?

    I was recently asked a question about this sentence: I have a large bed in my bedroom which is white.

    Is this correct? Or should it be that is white?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: That or Which?

    I assume that the bedroom is white; if so, then your sentence should read, " I have a large bed in my bedroom, which is white.

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    #3

    Re: That or Which?

    On the other hand, if the bed is white, say "I have a large white bed in my bedroom."

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    #4

    Re: That or Which?

    Thanks. As a matter of interest would it make any difference if it was the bed being referred to?

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    #5

    Re: That or Which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fourmarks View Post
    Thanks. As a matter of interest would it make any difference if it was the bed being referred to?
    Yes. It would be a clumsy, ambiguous sentence. That is why I assumed it was the bedroom, and added the comma, and why SoothingDave made his suggestion.

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    #6

    Re: That or Which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fourmarks View Post
    I was recently asked a question about this sentence: I have a large bed in my bedroom which is white.

    Is this correct? Or should it be that is white?

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Teacher 5jj told you the answer if the bedroom is white; Soothing Dave told you the

    answer if the bed is white.

    (2) May I also suggest another sentence if the bed is white:

    Tom: I am looking for a large bed. And it has to be white.

    George: Really? What a coincidence! I just happen to have a large bed that is white in my bedroom. I am willing to sell it for the right price.



    (3) In the United States, most teachers feel that "that" should be used for defining/ restrictive clauses (as you know, a defining/restrictive clause cannot be erased without changing the sense of the sentence):

    I want the bed that is white, not the bed that is brown.

    I hear that in some varieties of English, speakers would have no trouble using "which" in that sentence.


    P.S. In Teacher 5jj's sentence, the clause is non- defining/non-restrictive. If you delete (erase) that clause, the sentence still maintains your main idea:

    I have a large bed in my bedroom, which [the bedroom] is white. The fact that the bedroom is white is nice to know but not necessary to your main idea of "I have a large bed in my bedroom."

  5. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: That or Which?

    Thank you for your replies. I am well aware that the grammar can be changed so neither "that" or "which" are used. I believe that the author intended to say that the room is white, (As far as I know.)

    The problem I had was how to decide which word was correct for that sentence, "that' or 'which" I have to say, I thought the answer was "that', but I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: That or Which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fourmarks View Post
    The problem I had was how to decide which word was correct for that sentence, "that' or 'which" I have to say, I thought the answer was "that', but I am not a teacher.
    As I have suggested, neither word is right in that sentence, because the sentence itself is not right. If you want the non-defining clause, you need a comma, and then only 'which' is appropriate.

    If you want a defining clause, then 'my' (which itself defines) is inappropriate. You'd need to say, " I have a large bed in the bedroom that/which is white". However, this itself is unnatural - we'd actually say, "I have a large bed in the white bedroom".

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    #9

    Re: That or Which?

    Thank you.

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