# Thread: relative clauses (that vs. who)

1. ## relative clauses (that vs. who)

Jane's the best tennis player ____ has been selected from that club.

a) whose
b) which
c) that
d) who

The right answer is supposed to be c) that. However, I don't understand why "who" isn't used instead! Why?

2. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by Lenka
Jane's the best tennis player ____ has been selected from that club.

a) whose
b) which
c) that
d) who

The right answer is supposed to be c) that. However, I don't understand why "who" isn't used instead! Why?
The best is a superlative.

3. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by Casiopea
The best is a superlative.
What does it imply?

Can't "who" be used with a superlative?

4. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Normally, no.

5. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by Lenka
What does it imply?
The best person is a title, a thing, so it's compatible with that, not who.

Does that help?

6. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by Casiopea
The best person is a title, a thing, so it's compatible with that, not who.

Does that help?

7. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by engee30
Good question. Take another look at this structure, Jane's the best tennis player. It's copular ('s = is). The subject complement here, a title, the best tennis palyer, refers to a person, Jane. So, the best pronoun for that referential pair would be that, not which, because that can refer to people and things, whereas which cannot.

Does that help?

8. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Originally Posted by Casiopea
...So, the best pronoun for that referential pair would be that, not which, because that can refer to people and things, whereas which cannot.

Does that help?
That was a very smart explanation!

9. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Well ... thank you.

10. ## Re: relative clauses (that vs. who)

Hmmm... Maybe I shouldn't try to understand it, but simply learn it...

"A tennis player" (or the best one) is a person, not a thing, so I don't understand why "who" couldn't be used here, anyway, there are things that can't be understood (when learning a language)... For me, this is probably one of them.

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