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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Hello

    Will there be any difference between these two sentences if I use either which or that ?

    You can eat the apple which is on the table.

    You can eat the apple that is red.

    OR

    You can eat the apple which /that is on the table
    You can eat the apple that /whichis red.

    Thank you


  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    There is no difference in meaning between the two words in your sentences.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    There is no difference in meaning between the two words in your sentences.
    Thank you. I am very glad to hear that because, when I read a few articles about defining and non-defining clauses I cound't understand the difference between them.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    There is actually difference between them, but there are actually no non-defining clauses in your posts.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    There is actually difference between them, but there are actually no non-defining clauses in your posts.
    That's why I was confused. In one of the discussions I read that the difference is not in meaning, but in use.

    Here in this example what exactly changes the meaning of the sentence? Added commas, rigght?

    non-defining defining
    His brother, who works at the supermarket, is a friend of mine.
    He has only one brother, and that brother works at the supermarket.
    His brother who works at the supermarket is a friend of mine.
    He has more than one brother. The one I’m talking about works at the supermarket.
    Last edited by Sarah18; 14-Feb-2017 at 16:40.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Right. We can't use 'that' in non-defining relative clauses.

  7. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Right. We can't use 'that' in non-defining relative clauses.
    But why do some teachers say that there is no difference in meaning, only in use then?

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    I think Americans cling to "use 'that' for defining and 'which' for non-defining" usage more than our counterparts.

    I do not use "which" for defining. As you can see, other people have no problem with using either "which" or "that" for defining.

    However, neither of us use "that" for non-defining. You cannot say "This book, that I got from the second-hand store, was a great read!" You must use "which" there because it gives extra information.
    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.

  9. Newbie
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    #9

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think Americans cling to "use 'that' for defining and 'which' for non-defining" usage more than our counterparts.

    I do not use "which" for defining. As you can see, other people have no problem with using either "which" or "that" for defining.

    However, neither of us use "that" for non-defining. You cannot say "This book, that I got from the second-hand store, was a great read!" You must use "which" there because it gives extra information.
    Thank you. Your example is very clear. In these sentences below they show that either can be used because it is defining or am I wrong again?
    Here are some cells which/that show abnormality. (Some cells show abnormality. Some cells is the subject.)
    Here are some cells which/that the researcher has identified. (The researcher has identified some cells. Some cells is the object.)
    Last edited by Sarah18; 14-Feb-2017 at 17:11.

  10. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The use of 'that' and 'which'

    I think you are right. Both 'which' and 'that' can be used in a defining clause.
    I am not a teacher.

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