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93
votes
9answers
8k views

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

When is it appropriate to use that as opposed to which?
10
votes
6answers
867 views

Why does legal English sometimes repeat the antecedent noun after “which”?

Here's a standard English sentence: The folder which is missing from the principal's office contained the answers to today's exam. (Separate question, discussed elsewhere I'm sure, whether it ...
9
votes
3answers
480 views

The use of nominative “whom”

From page 48 of Law: A Very Short Introduction, by Raymond Wacks: In other words, you owe a duty to persons whom it is foreseeable are likely to be harmed by your conduct. To try to parse this, ...
7
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

“The way in which”: a grammar mistake or not?

I'm studying English pronouns and my book says that the sentence "the way in which" is incorrect and I have to use, instead, only "the way". Is it true? And if so, why? Here are some sentences: ...
4
votes
3answers
506 views

What allows the omission of subject relative pronouns?

“There’s some men wouldn’t look at a girl with a baby.” (Ken Follett, Fall of Giants) There is a young student comes here some evenings. (James Joyce, Dubliners) “That’s a smell could ...
4
votes
1answer
288 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
1answer
1k 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
3answers
465 views

Problem in adjective clauses’ grammar

I have read some grammar points about adjective clauses, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. For example: All the students ____ do well in writing. ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

The use of “who has” or “who have” in a sentence [duplicate]

Consider the following example: It is you who has taken the garbage out. It is you who have taken the garbage out. Does one use "has" or "have" in this sentence construction? Which of ...
3
votes
1answer
803 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
18k views

To whoever it may concern

I received a letter of confirmation for funding from an English native speaker. She started the letter with: To whoever it may concern, I am not a native speaker, but that sounds quite odd to me ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I use 'whoever' or 'whomever' here?

I know this sentence is a little awkward. Bear with me. "I will kill whomever I despise." -- This one feels correct. However... "I will kill whoever despises me." -- Is this right? Would this one ...
2
votes
2answers
278 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
1answer
600 views

“Put me in touch with whomever created it”? [duplicate]

He created it. Put me in touch with him. So which is correct and why: Put me in touch with whomever created it. Put me in touch with whoever created it.
2
votes
1answer
234 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
290 views

Usage of “what”

We recently did a test and we stumbled upon the following sentence: This film is better than ... we saw yesterday. With the answers: a, which b, - c, what d, that I choose "what" and the ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

Choice of relative pronouns: 'who' and/or 'that' for people?

Albert Einstein is a German-born theoretical physicist. He became world-famous for his general theory of relativity. If you turn these two sentences into one, a main clause + a relative clause, you ...
2
votes
2answers
683 views

“Who is” vs. “Who are” [closed]

The beginning of a title reads, *Who are doing Jehovah's Will.. which doesn’t sound correct to me. To me, *Who is doing Jehovah's Will sounds more correct. Am I wrong, or can both be used in the ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Can “which” and its antecedent be used together in a sentence for reading clarity?

Unfortunately I could not find an authentic example of the rare construct I have in mind, but I am just as sure as I am typing this question that I have read so many sentences from older prose where ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Why don't most sources classify “when”, “where”, and “why” as relative pronouns?

I am researching the use of relative pronouns and most websites, including the British Council, list only: who, whom, which, that, and whose What about here? That's the house where I grew ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

who / how / where / what

There was a question on the test that I was not sure which option was correct. The question is "Fill in the blank choosing the most appropriate word." Duke is not ( ) we think him to be. who / ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

When “who” is an antecedent, does it need to directly touch the person it's referring to?

When who is an antecedent, does it need to directly touch the person it's referring to? For example: I called Sally, who urged me to move in with her in Texas. OR I called Sally, the mother ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

“Whom”/“Who” in subordinate clauses [duplicate]

I've come across the following sentence in a book: “I wanted to learn everything I could about it from whomever in the country might have specialized knowledge of it.” I know that the whomever ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Using “which are” or omitting it

A Korean software engineer wrote the following sentence. There are several algorithms commonly used by software developers. But his native English-speaking teacher corrected it by inserting ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

What kind of structure with a relative pronoun is this?

As Lord Esher once noted, ‘Any proposition the result of which would be to show that the common law of England is wholly unreasonable and unjust cannot be part of the common law of England.’ ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Friends “that or who” I consider my best friends

Can I ever use that for people, or must it be who? Which one is correct? I have friends from all walks of life that I consider my best friends. I have friends from all walks of life who I ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Singular or plural verb after “what”

Which sentence is more grammatically correct? He is being tried on what look like trumped-up charges. He is being tried on what looks like trumped-up charges.
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Connecting two relative clauses in one sentence

I would like to write an essay which gives information about the charts but because I am not native English speaker, when I started to write down my essay I came across the similar problems that I do ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Can relative pronoun be omitted in the following sentence?

The color of house that I built is red. This sentence can be written in following way. The color of house I built is red. I can omit that, because that is indicating the house, and it is ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

The usage of “that” as a relative pronoun

Under what condition should we use "that" as the required and ONLY relative pronoun? Please give some examples. Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Is it possible to use the relative pronoun “which” to refer to people?

All of the grammar books I have consulted indicate that who(m)/that are the only relative pronouns to be used with people. I thought that you could use "which" when you point out a specific person ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

omitting relative pronoun in a non-restrictive clause

We often omit relative pronouns in restrictive clauses. E.g. "I am flying to a place I love" instead of "I am flying to a place that I love." It seems ok to omit the which/who in the following. But ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Is a preposition of place required when replacing “where” with “that”?

A preposition appears to be needed when that is used in sentences such as: That's the store where I bought my computer. That's the store that I bought my computer (at?). with exceptions ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Sentence Structure 3 [closed]

Do you think that the following sentence structure is correct? "Attach any material you need included". I meant to say "Attach any material that you need to include". I agree it may not be formal ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Using relative pronoun “who” with “team” or “bunch”

I would like to know if this sentence is grammatical, with its usage of the relative pronoun who. (I) Our team is a happy bunch who works night and day. I am getting two parses for this sentence: ...
1
vote
2answers
299 views

Does removing the comma before 'which' in a non-restrictive clause change the meaning of the sentence?

There are many 'rules' on the net saying that a comma should be placed before the relative pronoun 'which' in a non-restrictive clause. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/relative-clauses) But ...
1
vote
1answer
9 views

I wonder whether it is the relative pronoun

Truth be told, I never graduated from college, and this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. In this clip from Steve job's speech in Standford school, I wonder what is the part ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Omitting a relative pronoun in a relative clause (exceptions and meaning)

Here is a sentence with a relative clause: 1) I gave her some money which/that she spent immediately. Technically, we can omit the relative pronoun because it is the object of the relative clause ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

relative pronoun usage: “…, not in which …”?

There's the room; not in the room is the man. I want to replace the semicolon with a comma and make the second sentence a relative clause. Is it okay to change it as: There's the ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Comma before a participial phrase

I have two cases. a) He sent me a letter written in English. b) I was given a cup made in China from my friend. I personally think sentence (a) should be non-restrictive since there is only ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

1607 writ by Edward Coke - Relative pronouns? [duplicate]

(Sir Edward) Coke further noted that legal disputes about such matters as inheritance of goods: are not to be decided by natural reason but by the artificial reason and judgment of ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is it called when we use “through which” “about whom”, “whose”, etc

I would like to know how to refer to the sentance structure that is used in formal contexts, when "through which", "for whom" etc. are typically used. Are these non-defining relative pronouns? ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Pronoun Case in Noun Phrases used as Direct Objects [duplicate]

When I have a noun phrase that contains a pronoun as a subject (of the phrase), but the noun phrase is being used as the direct object of another verb, is the pronoun in the nominative case or the ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

Which is more common, using “who . . . is” or “whom . . . are”?

Which of these would you say? The married couple who the police caught is on drugs. or The married couple whom the police caught are on drugs. Why?
1
vote
1answer
160 views

“who” or “whom” as a relative pronoun - not always so easy [duplicate]

I take it for granted we all know when to use the relative pronouns "who" and "whom". And we also know that since the early nineteenth century there has been a steady decline in the use of "whom" ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

More confusion with relative pronoun ambiguity

What does the relative pronoun refer to in this sentence? It was probably on the darker/smoother side of things, compared to, say, the Sony ZX-1, which I prefer. To me, his preference isn’t ...
0
votes
2answers
141 views

Meaning of “that” in “holomorphic function in the sector S that is continuous”

I have encountered a confusing sentence in a math textbook: Suppose F is a holomorphic function in the sector S that is continuous on the closure of S. What does that mean in the above ...
0
votes
3answers
297 views

Why Do English Speakers Use “Preposition + Relative Pronoun” Form?

there As I'm not an English Speaker, whenever I crush "Preposition + Relative Pronoun" forms in the books, newspaper, etc., it is not that easy for me to understand right away. ... it will gain ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Problems with relative pronouns

I have a question related to punctuations. Please tell me whether the following sentences are correct or not. Innodata is a company that provides BPO and KPO services. Innodata is a company ...