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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    what vs which or that..

    When do you use what vs which or that in a sentence?
    I went on the plane which made me sick? .
    I went on the plane that made me sick?
    I went on the plane what made me sick obviously this is wrong but when do you what. ?
    Help !
    Please give many examples. please.. thanks..

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: what vs which or that..

    Instead of driving to New York, I took a plane, which (by the way) made me sick. I usually don't get sick when I fly, but this plane was smaller than the ones I usually take and there was a lot of turbulence. Oh! See that plane over there. That's the kind of the plane that made me sick.

    Note, some speakers of British English might use what instead of that; e.g., It was the plane that/what made me sick.

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    All the best.

  3. #3

    Re: what vs which or that..

    I have read a book which says "which" is for general use while "that" is for non living things only. Is this true?

    Can I use "that" for people? For example:

    "The person that I talked to is very rude."


    Is this sentence correct? Or, should I say it like this:

    "The person whom I talked to is very rude."


    Or, are they the same. How about for "which"? Thank you.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: what vs which or that..

    Quote Originally Posted by hlbert03 View Post
    I have read a book which says "which" is for general use while "that" is for non living things only. Is this true?
    First, use which when the information it introduces can be left out of the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. For example, I took out the which-clause in the second sentence and that didn't change the meaning of the sentence.

    [1] The car, which lost its wheels, is parked over there.
    [2] The car is parked over there.

    Note, which-clauses are not an essential part of the sentence. We mark that with punctuation. Which-clauses are set off with commas. Everything inside the commas is extra information. The commas mean, "by the way".

    Use that when the information it introduces is part of the meaning of the sentence. For example,

    [3] A car that lost its wheels is useless.

    Now, if I take out the information introduced by that the sentence sounds odd,

    [4] A car is useless.

    Note, that-clauses are not set off with commas.

    Quote Originally Posted by hlbert03
    Can I use "that" for people? For example:

    "The person that I talked to is very rude."
    "The pronoun which refers to things; who (and its forms) refers to people; that usually refers to things, but it can also refer to people in a general kind of way.Source" So, yes, your sentence is fine.

    Note, some speakers use which without commas. You can read more about that here: World Wide Words: Which versus that

  5. #5

    Re: what vs which or that..

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    First, use which when the information it introduces can be left out of the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. For example, I took out the which-clause in the second sentence and that didn't change the meaning of the sentence.

    [1] The car, which lost its wheels, is parked over there.
    [2] The car is parked over there.

    Note, which-clauses are not an essential part of the sentence. We mark that with punctuation. Which-clauses are set off with commas. Everything inside the commas is extra information. The commas mean, "by the way".

    Use that when the information it introduces is part of the meaning of the sentence. For example,

    [3] A car that lost its wheels is useless.

    Now, if I take out the information introduced by that the sentence sounds odd,

    [4] A car is useless.

    Note, that-clauses are not set off with commas.

    "The pronoun which refers to things; who (and its forms) refers to people; that usually refers to things, but it can also refer to people in a general kind of way.Source" So, yes, your sentence is fine.

    Note, some speakers use which without commas. You can read more about that here: World Wide Words: Which versus that



    Thank you so much for a very complete explanation.

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: what vs which or that..

    You're most welcome.

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