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79
votes
9answers
6k views

When to use “that” and when to use “which”?

When is it appropriate to use that as opposed to which?
18
votes
10answers
2k views

What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical?

An acquaintance recalled this specific example from an English textbook, but it is jarring to my native ear. Is this an example of prescriptive grammarians gone wild?
9
votes
2answers
408 views

“That” or “which”? Does it matter?

If I wish to say something along the lines of Consider the bear that scratches his head. It seems to me that I could instead say Consider the bear which scratches his head. I am unsure ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is 'that' sometimes optional before dependent clauses?

Sometimes, the word 'that' to introduce a dependent clause is optional. For example, these sentences both make sense with or without 'that': Long books [that] religious people like tend to be ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

Should you use “who” or “that” when talking about multiple people doing something?

Which of the following is correct? There were 10 people that went to the store. There were 10 people who went to the store. Edit: Which of the following is correct? There were 10 ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

“IT projects gone awry…” Qualifying a reduced relative clause rule

"IT projects gone awry because they were conceived on too massive a scale, and good money thrown after bad, are financial nuisances far from unique to the Beeb." ['Beeb' = BBC] I've been trying to ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

“all that” vs. “all what”

I’ve heard somebody say: All what is needed is … I thought the correct way to phrase it was: All that is needed is … However, thinking about it more, the former doesn’t sound too ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

“I do not know where … is” vs. “I do not know where is …”

Which of the following sentences is correct in the formal context? Both? If possible, please also explain why each of these sentences is correct/incorrect. I do not know where the best place to ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

Relative clause introduced by an adverb

“Your employment at Chent will terminate directly we find a suitable replacement.” (John Brunner, Quicksand, 1967) This sentence is said by a highly formal and stuffy character. I guess this use ...
5
votes
3answers
804 views

“He was playing when he fell” or “he fell when he was playing”?

Which one is correct? He fell down when he was playing in the field. He was playing in the field when he fell down. Why?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Using “who” for things (nonliving beings)

On an online typing tutor site I came across the following phrase: We're now going to move on to words who's first letter originates on the top row. Can "who" normally be used in this way (to ...
5
votes
4answers
472 views

Confused with the interpretation of the restrictive relative clause

The sentence: My sister who is from Chicago visited me last weekend. The interpretation from YouTube: I have more than one sisters and I am specifically talking about my sister who is from ...
5
votes
1answer
558 views

Relative pronouns after prepositions: is it okay to use them in speech?

Consider the following usages of relative pronouns: The lecturer introduces a study in which participants were asked to choose one attractive picture. At the university I met famous professors, many ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Grammatically, why does it seem that 'that' can't follow the verb expressing propositional attitude in this sentence?

Consider the sentence, Together with corroborant documentation, the petitioner must submit his own account of the events that he claims (that) justify the exemption. That can follow any verb ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

'Which', 'whose' or something else?

I would appreciate your help phrasing the following: I am looking for elements which/whose/... size/sizes is/are relatively large.
4
votes
2answers
331 views

Relative clause with “whose”

I just read the following sentence in a short-biography: "Peter was born in England in 1982, whose parents were from Japan and India." I think that the use of the relative pronoun "whose" is wrong ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Am I using “whomever” correctly?

So sad to lose you, yet happy for whomever has the pleasure of working with you next.
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “of which” a proper way to begin a relative clause? [closed]

Germany is subdivided into 16 (federal) states, of which Bavaria is the largest. The thing is that my dictionary is not perfectly clear about this, i.e. there is no direct translation available. ...
4
votes
2answers
423 views

Using “that” before a preposition

It's correct to say: Here's a nice recording, which I think you will like listening to. Here's a nice recording that I think you will like listening to. What about these? Here's a nice ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

“that which” used together

When I read essays from Eliot, I find him using "that which" frequently, e.g. the combination which is the murder of Agamemnon is probably as complex as that which is the voyage of Ulysses. A ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Independent clause markers

I understand independent clauses, and how there are certain markers such as however, therefore, consequently which can denote an independent clause. The common example of use is when one of them ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

In “set of reasons that” what does *that* modify?

Suppose that there is a survey of people asking them their reasons for thinking or behaving a certain way. While analyzing the survey results, a researcher may discuss all the different reasons the ...
4
votes
2answers
877 views

Can I replace “that is/are (supposed) to” with just “to”?

Is this sentence grammatically correct? [This method] binds a handler to one or more events to be executed once for each matched element. source Is it just a contraction of the following ...
4
votes
6answers
414 views

Help reworking a sentence to make it less ambigious

Are there any rules governing what the "which" refers to in a sentence like this: Every five minutes, the Node.js application posts a JSON document to my CouchDB instance which looks like: ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Proper usage of 'which' in a sentence

I read the post Usage of "which", and am trying to frame my own sentence that uses "which". Consider the sentences below. In the first, I want to say that variable shadowing is the reason ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Are you comfortable with who(m) he is?

Are you comfortable with him? (correct) Are you comfortable with whom he is? (??) You're comfortable with whom he is. (??) Are you comfortable with who he is? (??) You're comfortable ...
3
votes
2answers
524 views

“It is having time to think that makes me depressed” — grammatical function of “that”?

It is having time to think that makes me depressed. In this sentence, what is the grammatical function of the word that?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is 'what' both relative adjective and relative pronoun?

The body was no longer twitching. The skin had taken on a milky bluish tinge. The corner of the mouth seemed to have stopped bleeding, and what little blood was still visible now appeared very ...
3
votes
2answers
223 views

“that” omission, subject-verb distance [duplicate]

when can we remove 'that'? I've heard different opinions I bought the book that is required for this course I bought the book required for this course I recommend that you take my advice I recommend ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

Can “whose” refer to a first-person subject in the third person?

This question came from a friend. It is from a college entrance exam for non-native English speakers. Link the following sentences with "whose": I was a small kid. My classmates laughed at ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Advanced rules for shortening relative clauses with a participle?

Once again, a problem encountered while marking German pupils' exams. We teach them the following rules: A present participle can be used to shorten an active relative clause: The boy who ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“Whoever” Vs. “Whomever”

On the subject of "whoever" and "whomever", I was reading this but I am still confused: http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/whoever.asp What is the correct use of whoever/whomever in the following ...
3
votes
3answers
87 views

Do I need an extra “about”, or does one suffice?

Consider the following sentence: I have a lot to talk about with John about his project. Since I can swap the position of the first about to make it 'I have a lot to talk with John about', then ...
3
votes
2answers
108 views

“stopping to refill his cup when she did”

Consider the following sentence: She got up to get some of the coffee he had made, stopping to refill his cup when she did. What does the subordinate clause in this sentence mean? Does it mean ...
3
votes
1answer
980 views

Can “who” as a relative pronoun sometimes be omitted?

Somebody once observed two things: people often omit the relative pronoun "who" or "whom" to avoid having to worry about which is grammatically correct however, in all cases where it can be omitted, ...
3
votes
1answer
603 views

Omissions of “that” in a relative clause [duplicate]

I am not clear on when the word "that" can be omitted in a relative clause. I only know that when the modified noun is the object in the clause, the antecedent "that" can be omitted. Are there any ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

How to conjugate verb in relative clause where case changes? [duplicate]

I'm not sure how the following sentence should be built: "She gives a blanket to me, who (am/is/?) cold" I can't come up with anything that sounds right, and I'm not certain there is a right. Can ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

What would be the difference between past and present tense here?

1.) I assumed you were the type who kept your promises. vs. 2.) I assumed you were the type who keeps your promises.
3
votes
2answers
64 views

How to categorize this phrase. Relative clause, Interrogative clause, Adverbial clause?

What is "Where to go" in the sentence "Where to go is the question." Is it a adverbial phrase or a relative clause? And what is "Why go" in the sentence "Why go when you can stay?" - is it a clause?
3
votes
1answer
83 views

“Money is all what/that I need.” [duplicate]

1.) Money is all that I need. 2.) Money is all what I need. Which one is right? or which one have you not ever seen? and is there any difference between them? But, what about the following? If ...
2
votes
4answers
55 views

Alternative way to phrase the relative clause “which I don't find X to be”

I wrote down the following sentence. But I think it's quite awkward. Besides, Google tells me that the clause which I don't find him to be occurs only twice across the internet. He'll do this if ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

correct usage of 'which'

If I say this sentence, would it be meaningful? Similarly, trees can be described by neighborhood relations which we can see how trees exist with other objects in reality Actually what I want ...
2
votes
1answer
900 views

Word order in defining and non-defining relative clauses

With defining relative clauses, there is a different word order according to the status of the relative pronoun in the sentence (that is, it can be either the subject or the object of the relative ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Is this a complete sentence or two? [closed]

Given the example (from a British novel, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life) Well what did I expect who said it would be easy? I will not let this defeat me. I will persist. Is the first ...
2
votes
1answer
576 views

Relative clauses: integrated, restrictive, non-restrictive, supplementary

H. W. Fowler established a terminology (I do not know if it originates with him), where clauses that are related to another clause through a pronoun are called relative clauses; he further drew a ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Relative clauses: How do that-clauses differ from what-clauses?

Sometimes I can't see which clause fits the best. What "check-up" could be done to make sure which one is the right one? For example, 1) He will do anything that is needed. or He will do anything ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Finnegan's Wake: “the least successful of whom was…” [closed]

Does the following sentence sound awkward because of the positioning of whom? Beans grew up in a Roman Catholic household with four brothers; the least successful of whom was the bank president.
2
votes
2answers
868 views

Can adjectives be placed without a noun after them?

Adjectives are placed before nouns. But sometimes I've seen (though I'm not sure if they are correct), things like: The item placed there I know that it may be a short way of saying "The item ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Correct usage of *which* and *that* [duplicate]

I keep seeing written usage of which in cases where the writer clearly intends it to be restrictive. For example: "Is there a word which means whatever you want it to mean? Or has no meaning?" "It ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

plural objects and relative clause

If you have two objects which are plural (e.g. apples and oranges) and a non-restrictive relative clause, to which does the relative clause refer? E.g.: He noticed the apples and oranges, which ...