Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
How to use “who” vs. “that”
‘Which’ applied to brute animals

Is the use of "who", as applied to non-human animals, ever considered grammatically correct? Would it be correct to refer to a cat as "the same cat who I saw yesterday" instead of "the cat that I saw yesterday", or is this considered incorrect?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by MετάEd, jwpat7, Bill Franke, waiwai933 Jan 3 '13 at 7:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

As a side-note, I think this grammatical issue might be contentious among some animal rights advocates. :) –  Anderson Green Jan 3 '13 at 6:25
I have also seen phrases like "the person that I saw yesterday" being used in colloquial and informal English, instead of "the person who I saw yesterday". –  Anderson Green Jan 3 '13 at 6:27
@MετάEd This question addresses one specific case of that question, which addresses a much broader issue. Is it still considered a duplicate? –  Anderson Green Jan 3 '13 at 6:32
The answer to the broader question answers your question also. In my view that makes your question useful primarily as a duplicate question (a pointer to the broader question). –  MετάEd Jan 3 '13 at 6:34
If you want to get technical about it, it should be "the person whom I saw yesterday". But the language doesn't support that anymore. Using "that" instead of "who" is an ancient tradition, and as much as I dislike it, there's nothing that can be done about it. Suck it up and don't use it if you don't like it, but rest assured that others will. –  user21497 Jan 3 '13 at 6:47

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.