I think you should use "which" to replace for "what"
A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had
been found in five facilities what seemed to be bomb factories near Fallujah.
Could you tell me if this sentence is correct?
I am not confident as to the way I used "what."
I think you should use "which" to replace for "what"
I agree with Cs,
You could keep what if you left out five facilities.
'That' is used with restrictive clauses, 'which' is used for non-restrictive clause. This means that 'which' should be preceded by a comma.
In the sentence given, 'seemed to be bomb factories' is additional, non-restrictive, information - it could simply say 'five facilities near Fallujah' and still be a complete sentence.
That means it should be introduced by 'which' as you say, but it should also be separated by commas.
"A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities, which seemed to be bomb factories, near Fallujah."
There may be a counter argument that 'seemed to be bomb factories' is restrictive - out of all the facilities inspected, only ones with explosives seemed to be bomb factories. That would make the sentence
"A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities that seemed to be bomb factories near Fallujah."
My own view is that the facilities seem to be bomb factories because they contain explosives, so all explosive-containing facilities seem to be bomb-factories and it is non-restrictive.
If you want to use the restrictive option, the sentence would need a bit more modifying.
"A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities near Fallujah that seemed to be bomb factories."
This is because 'near Fallujah' should not be modified by 'seemed'. They seemed to be bomb factories, but they did not seem to be near Fallujah. They are definitely near Fallujah, so those two ideas should be kept together.
As far as I know, you can replace "which" with "taht" all the time when the caluse is defining.
For example: This is my car (that/which, you can use no pronoun) cost me a lot. ( I don't have a car by the way )
Am I right?
'That' is a defining relative pronoun, while 'which' isn't, so to be strictly accurate only 'that' can be used in a defining/restrictive relative clause.
Here is a quote from the wonderful book "The Kings English", written by H.W. Fowler.
''that' is the defining, 'who' or 'which' the non-defining relative; the reason for each modification is given in its place. We must here remind the reader of the distinction drawn (...)between defining and non-defining clauses: a defining clause limits the application of the antecedent, enabling us to select from the whole class to which the antecedent is applicable the particular individual or individuals meant.
'That' should never be used to introduce a non-defining clause; (...)'Who' or 'which' should not be used in defining clauses except when custom, euphony, or convenience is decidedly against the use of 'that'.'
'Which', by the way, should always be used when it is referring to the whole preceding clause rather than the preceding noun.
Here’s from my archive ( I don’t know the source):
“Older style guides make two firm points about the difference between the two types of clause:
Restrictive clauses are introduced by that and are not separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
Non-restrictive clauses are introduced by which and must be separated by commas from the rest of the sentence to indicate parenthesis.
The problem is that few people have followed these rules systematically, and you can find lots of examples where the relative pronoun which is used to start a restrictive clause. The 1965 edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage comments:
If writers would agree to regard that as the defining relative pronoun, and which as the non-defining, there would be much gain both in lucidity and in ease. Some there are who follow this principle now; but it would be idle to pretend that it is the practice either of most or of the best writers.
This is even more true today than when he wrote it and most modern style guides say that either relative pronoun can be used with restrictive clauses. For example, I found this sentence quoted approvingly as an example under the equivalent section in Oxford English:
A suitcase which has lost its handle is useless.
The clause “which has lost its handle” is certainly restrictive. If you take it out, you are left with “A suitcase is useless”, obviously a different meaning to that intended. So, according to Fowler’s rule, the which ought to be that.”
The conclusion: it’s always correct to use which (without a comma) in restrictive clauses.
I agree, a lot of people do use 'that' or 'which' incorrectly. A lot of people also start sentences with conjunctions. It is a matter of debate whether that makes it acceptable or not: I would argue not.Some there are who follow this principle now; but it would be idle to pretend that it is the practice either of most or of the best writers.
I already mentioned that! - 'Some say that 'which' or 'that' are equally acceptable for a defining relative clause, but I don't agree.'most modern style guides say that either relative pronoun can be used with restrictive clauses.
Saying that is effectively dumping the idea of restrictive and non-restrictive pronouns. In what way is that an improvement? It may allow some to remember one pronoun less, but I find that a deterioration in the language rather than an improvement.
I would agree with Fowler. It should be 'that', and I would use 'that'.The clause “which has lost its handle” is certainly restrictive. If you take it out, you are left with “A suitcase is useless”, obviously a different meaning to that intended. So, according to Fowler’s rule, the which ought to be that.”
I think in this case 'which' and 'that' can both be used with a defining clause.
Grammar is always changing and the fact that so many people do use both means that is has or will become part of the 'officail' grammar rules.