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    #1

    to usage

    Which are correct:

    1-This is an apple to eat.
    2-This is an apple for eating.

    3-The apple which is to eat is on the table.

    4-The apple which is for eating is on the table.


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    #2

    Re: to usage

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Which are correct:

    1-This is an apple to eat.
    2-This is an apple for eating.

    3-The apple which is to eat is on the table. It would be correct if it was "The apple which [name] is to eat is on the table".

    4-The apple which is for eating is on the table.
    ..

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    #3

    Re: to usage

    I do beg your pardon Anglika, but I beg to differ. And this time it's not a British/American thing:

    1-This is an apple to eat.

    is quite different from

    2-This is an apple for eating.

    The first is an offer to you to enjoy this apple. The second reminds you, while shopping, that this is an apple bred and grown for eating raw, rather than a pie-making apple.

    "Golden Delicious apples are the mainstream apples of choice for apple pies. When mixed with the tart Granny Smith apples, they make an excellent pie. Among the really good pie apples are Jonathan, Stayman-Winesap, Cox's Orange Pippin, and Jonagold, all of which provide a good mix of sweetness and tartness. Other sweet choices are Braeburn, Fuji, Mutsu, Pink Lady, Suncrisp, Rome Beauty, and Empire. Good tart baking apples include Idared, Macoun, Newton Pippin, and Northern Spy."
    -- and from another source --
    "The Red Delicious apple, with its lobed bottom and rich red color, is probably the most well-known of the eating apples. It has a mealy texture and a sweet flavor with hardly a hint of tartness. Because of its texture, it does not hold up as a cooking apple.Another good eating apple is the Jonathan. It is sometimes available in stores, but is best from a local orchard. The Jonathan is a red apple with a crunchy texture and a sweet-tart flavor that holds up in cooking. Other eating apples found in stores are Ida Reds, Yorks, Rome Beauties and Winesaps."

    3-The apple which is to eat is on the table.
    4-The apple which is for eating is on the table.

    These are also both wrong. Any similar "which" clause must always be set off, usually by commas, or replaced with a "that" clause.
    The apple, which is for eating, is on the table. This tells that that it's an eating apple (above). It is not an invitation to eat it.
    The apple that is for eating is on the table. This is correctly punctuated, using a "that" clause instead of a "which." Typical of most such "that" expressions, it can be omitted to greater effect and clarity: The apple for eating is on the table.

    When to use which and when to use that? If you can completely REMOVE the that/which clause without changing the meaning, then it's a which. It simply gives more information, but does not change the point of the sentence.

    The apple [which is for eating] is on the table - take that bracketed phrase away and you have "The apple is on the table." It is only INCIDENTAL that the apple is for eating. The unspoken question was "Where is the apple?"

    However, in this sentence (The apple that is for eating is on the table) we are answering the question of "Where is the apple for eating?" [I see two apples. One on a table, one on the counter. I also see a pie crust.] The unspoken question was not "Where is the apple?"

    In my classroom days, we called searching out these errors in essays the "Which hunt" - a pun on "witch hunts." It's a common error, and can have significant differences in interpretation. I've forgotten the precise example now, but the book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, has such an example upon which the entire Christian Reformation turned.

    To get technical, for those of you who enjoy the Rules, then, the Rule is that which clauses are nonrestrictive (nonessential) while that clauses are restrictive (essential). Nonrestrictive clauses and phrases are set off from the rest of a sentence by a pair of commas (as in our examples above) or by a single comma if they come at the end of the sentence.
    Last edited by jlinger; 19-Oct-2008 at 01:16.

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to usage

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-This is an apple to eat.
    2-This is an apple for eating.

    3-The apple which is to eat is on the table.
    4-The apple which is for eating is on the table.
    They all seem rather odd to me. After all, what do we do with apples besides eat them? Apples are considered food. Of course we eat them. I wouldn't say: "This apple is for eating." It's a given that apples are for eating. Would anyone say "This apple pie is for eating"? Of course not!


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    #5

    Re: to usage

    But in the case of apples, specifically, there are different types. And you'll not enjoy eating a pie apple as much as an eating apple, nor will your pies turn out as nicely if you use an eating apple instead of a cooking apple.

    Besides, it made for a pretty good example of the difference in that/which!

    [Of course, if you really eat coleslaw on hamburgers, I can't expect you to appreciate the finer points of haute Canadian cuisine! ]


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    #6

    Re: to usage

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    I do beg your pardon Anglika, but I beg to differ. And this time it's not a British/American thing:
    I do not see your point. The question asked was Which are correct? and the presumption is that the correctness is grammatical. The answer is simple.

    Three are correct, one is not, unless there is a change made in that sentence.

    The meaning was not discussed in my answer.

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    #7

    Re: to usage

    My point is that examples three and four CANNOT be correct. Ever. Regardless of whether you eat apples or not.

    They ware wrongly punctuated, or have used the wrong choice of that/which.

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    #8

    Re: to usage

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    My point is that examples three and four CANNOT be correct. Ever. Regardless of whether you eat apples or not.

    They ware wrongly punctuated, or have used the wrong choice of that/which.
    I think you've made a mistake, jlinger.
    4-The apple which is for eating is on the table.

    Consider this scenario: There are two apples - a cooking apple in the fridge, and an eating apple on the table.
    The apple which is for eating is on the table.
    What, specifically, is wrong with this sentence?

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    #9

    Re: to usage

    Because it can only be one of two ways:
    The apple THAT is for eating is on the table.
    The apple, which is for eating, is on the table.

    The phrase "that is for eating" is restrictive. It requires a restrictive pronoun to be used as the subject of that phrase. That is such a pronoun.

    Which is not that pronoun. Which is a pronoun used as a subject of a non-restrictive clause (The apple, which by the way is for eating, is on the table) and must be set off by commas (or a final period, if the sentence ends with the phrase).

    This is not a difficult distinction, nor is it pedantic. It is essential. Lawyers are given more training in this than, I suggest, any other use of the English language.

    If commas are too difficult to understand, then replace them with parenthesis. A non-restrictive clause, a which clause, can be enclosed in parenthesis and THEN DROPPED ENTIRELY from the sentence without changing its meaning.

    1. The stores (which are near my house) are closed. (It's Sunday, but if they were open, they would be convenient, if you are interested in this extra NOTRESTRICTIVE bit of information, even though you didn't ask.)

    2. The stores that are near my house are closed.
    (Others may be open, farther away, but notice I am ONLY talking about those near me.)

    To remove the debatable phrase from the sentence, we get:

    The stores are closed. And that is what the first example said. They are closed. Anything else in that sentence is just extra information. It can be moved to a separate sentence about "When were open, we can walk there easily on Monday."

    To get back, then, to your specific question, Ray, about the apple in the fridge and the apple on the table, the correct answer is

    The apple that is for eating is on the table.

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    #10

    Re: to usage

    Wikipedia has an interesting discussion on restrictive vs non-restrictive grammar, and adds to the discussion the use of tone in the response. When the debate is not between the un-human that/which, it is simply between the restrictive who (without commas) or the non-restrictive who (with commas). Perhaps reading this will clarify it for you:

    Restrictive or non-restrictive

    Restrictiveness is more clearly marked in English than in most languages: prosody (in speaking) and punctuation (in writing) serve this purpose. An English non-restrictive relative clause is preceded by pause in speech or a comma in writing, whereas a restrictive clause normally is not. Compare the following sentences, which have two quite different meanings, and correspondingly two clearly distinguished intonation patterns, depending on whether the commas are inserted:

    (1) The builder, who erects very fine houses, will make a large profit.
    (2) The builder who erects very fine houses will make a large profit.


    The first example, with commas, and with three short intonation curves, contains a non-restrictive relative clause. It refers to a specific builder, and assumes we know which builder is intended. It tells us firstly about his houses, then about his profits. The second example uses a restrictive relative clause. Without the commas, and with a single intonation curve, the sentence states that any builder who builds such houses will make profits.

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