I know that there are certain times to use "that" (for restricting the noun) and certain times to use "which" (for adding information).

How about "that which"?:

Truth is that which conforms to reality.

"That" is here a demonstrative pronoun, but it seems that this usage of which is incorrect.

Is this okay?

If it's not correct, how could I restate that sentence?

  • 6
    Yes, of course. It's a non-specific demonstrative pronoun (that) -- meaning whatever -- that is modified by a restrictive relative clause (which conforms to reality). A very common construction, often contracted into a headless relative clause as in Truth is whatever conforms with reality. Jul 2, 2013 at 1:11
  • I like "whatever." But isn't there a rule? Jul 2, 2013 at 1:32
  • 2
    @SimonKuang No. There isn’t. A rule.
    – tchrist
    Jul 2, 2013 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is absolutely OK to use 'that which' in that way.

Reference: My favourite quote:

That which does not kill us makes us stronger

Friedrich Nietzsche

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