So there's an article about the Cybertruck that starts out like this: "The Cybertruck is already here and it doesn't look like any pickup truck that you've ever seen."

My (Russian native) friend says that you can replace 'that' with 'which' and it's gonna mean the same thing. But this doesn't sound good to me, I feel like it breaks the sentence somehow

I did my research, I was trying to find whether it's possible to do or not but I'm pretty much stuck. Can you actually do that? If so, what rule allows it? Thank you

  • 2
    It doesn’t strike me as ungrammatical, but that does seem the more idiomatic option. Even more idiomatic would be to leave out the subordinator altogether and just say “like any pickup truck you’ve ever seen”. Jan 12, 2020 at 13:38
  • My best guess is that 'which you've ever seen' implies that I saw some weird-looking trucks in my life. Which can be false. Is there any way to identify this sentence to get more information about it? Jan 12, 2020 at 14:50
  • It doesn’t imply that, no. It doesn’t imply anything different from the version with that or no subordinator – if anything, all three imply that you haven’t seen weird trucks before (if you had, the Cybertruck would be less likely to be unlike any truck you’d ever seen). Jan 12, 2020 at 14:54
  • In fact, we can do away with both 'that' and 'which' and just say, "The Cybertruck is already here and it doesn't look like any pickup truck you've ever seen."
    – Ram Pillai
    Jan 13, 2020 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


I genuinely appreciate the fact that your intuition professes this to be ungrammatical.

Grammarly has a really good, in-depth article on when to use which at https://www.grammarly.com/blog/which-vs-that/.

Replacing that with which in this sentence renders the sentence nonsensical. If you have to use which in the sentence nonetheless, use this sentence:

"The Cybertruck is already here and it doesn't look like any pickup truck [on] which you could ever set your eyes on."

  • This does not actually answer the question. Jan 12, 2020 at 13:37
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Read again.
    – Noaman Ali
    Jan 12, 2020 at 13:38
  • 2
    Your addition does at least address the question directly, but which does not in any way render the sentence ungrammatical; that is just wrong. Your suggested rephrasing is no different with regards to that vs which (except if you choose to front the preposition, in which case that is not possible): if which made the original nonsensical, it equally makes your version nonsensical. Jan 12, 2020 at 13:42
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I completely disagree. Have you noticed that I've changed the tenses? The use of 'which' is completely grammatical.
    – Noaman Ali
    Jan 12, 2020 at 13:46
  • Also, the grammarly article is overly simplistic. Which can introduce both defining and defining clauses, and that can (occasionally, though much less commonly) introduce non-defining clauses – the difference between the two is decided by context/semantics, pause and intonation. It’s a good rule of thumb to use that for defining and which for non-defining, but it is far from the whole truth and it does not describe actual English usage very well. Jan 12, 2020 at 13:47

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