This is the teacher that we call "Hot Lips". This is the the place that we read many books.

The examples using that instead of who and where respectively are being taught. The pronoun that refers to the teacher and the place, yet my fellow instructor has continued allowing the students to use this relative-pronoun despite my advice.

Is there any way you could argue these sentences are grammatically correct?


Who vs that

With human head nouns it's a free choice between wh-relatives and that-relatives: "the teacher who we call 'Hot lips'" and "the teacher that we call 'Hot Lips'" show no semantic differences, and no syntactic differences other than what follows from "that" not being a pronoun ("the teacher to whom the letter was sent" is grammatical but *"the teacher to that the letter was sent" is of course not).

Where vs that

"Where" and "that" are frequently interchangeable when the relativised word is an adjunct of place, as in "a place where/(that) you can relax". But in sentences with head nouns less likely to suggest location, a wh-relative would normally be required. For example "this is the article where the claim was made" is fine, but not *"this is the article (that) the claim was made".

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