1

In this sentence:

We are asking you to invite your congregation that have a passion for mission to consider volunteering three hours one day a week.

Should it read "who" or "that" after "congregation"? I always used "who" but was told that "who" only goes with proper nouns.

  • 1
    Whoever told you that who only goes with proper nouns was talking nonsense. As John and Barrie say, who tends to go with nouns denoting people, but that is not absolute. – Colin Fine Oct 18 '13 at 10:34
1

The sentence probably doesn't mean what you intend. The invitation is to the congregation as a whole, if the whole congregation has a passion for mission. If that is your intent, you should use "that" since "congregation" is not a person but a large group.

However, if you intended what I think you intended:

We are asking you to invite your congregation's members who have a passion for mission...

In this case "who" would be correct.

The rule is "who" for people, "that" for things, though the rule is in practice a little soft.

  • 1
    Right. Or the members of your congregation who; and it doesn't matter whether you use who have or that have. They're the same and they're both grammatically correct; which one you use is up to you. – John Lawler Oct 18 '13 at 0:36
  • 1
    Yes. That can have a human antecedent when it introduces a defining relative clause. – Barrie England Oct 18 '13 at 6:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.