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That, which

(5 Posts)
Kerrymumbles Fri 16-Oct-09 13:13:42

help?

Bucharest Fri 16-Oct-09 13:26:40

Defining and non-defining relative pronouns.

"that" is a defining relative pronoun (ie the phrase it introduces is necessary to the meaning of the sentence)

"which" is non-defining- ie adds extra information to the sentence..

ie: Bob works for a company that makes wardrobes/The strike at the car factory, which lasted 10 days, is over.

<waves hi to KM btw xx>

abra1d Fri 16-Oct-09 13:27:18

Some people say that WHICH is used in these circumstances:

He gave her the watch, which had been his father's.

And THAT is used like this:

The book that I read last night.

But I used WHICH in both kinds of instance (She saw the book which he'd given her...) in my last book and the copyeditor was fine about it. I think this is acceptable.

Besom Fri 16-Oct-09 13:29:57

'Which' introduces non essential clauses into a sentence and 'that' introduces essential information.

So: The post, which was very funny, was written by a well know mumsnetter.

And: I don't like it when people write posts that are bitchy.

You can take out the 'which was very funny' bit out of the first sentence but not the 'that are bitchy' because it would then mean something else.

I honestly don't think it matters too much though.

Kerrymumbles Fri 16-Oct-09 19:38:15

thanks lads!

smile

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