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Senin, 09 Juli 2012

When To Use “That” and When To Use “Which”

Before I come on to the “that”/”which” rule, just a reminder that “who” should always be used when referring to people.
  • The boy who threw the ball.
  • This is the woman who always wears a black shawl.
When referring to objects, though, the rule for using “that” and “which” correctly is simple:
  • THAT should be used to introduce a restrictive clause.
  • WHICH should be used to introduce a non-restrictive or parenthetical clause.
If that leaves you more confused than when you began this article, read on…
A restrictive clause is one which is essential to the meaning of a sentence – if it’s removed, the meaning of the sentence will change. For example:

  • Chairs that don’t have cushions are uncomfortable to sit on.
  • Card games that involve betting money should not be played in school.
  • To our knowledge, it is the only body in the solar system that currently sustains life…
A non-restrictive clause can be left out without changing the meaning of a sentence. Non-restrictive clauses are either in brackets or have a comma before and after them (or only before them if they come at the end of a sentence):
  • Chairs, which are found in many places of work, are often uncomfortable to sit on.
  • I sat on an uncomfortable chair, which was in my office.

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