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Which vs That

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:03 pm
by Roby
Grazie Peter, imparo sempre qualcosa di nuovo! A proposito, le regole farraginose non ci sono soltanto in italiano! Oggi in un libro ho letto questa regola sull’uso in inglese di “that” vs. “which”: Use “that” to tell which and “which” to tell that. It’s so obvious, isn’t it? Umberto

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/whoVwhVt.asp
1.

Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.

Examples:

Anya is the one who rescued the bird.

Lokua is on the team that won first place.

She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species


2.

That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.


Examples:
I do not trust products that claim "all natural ingredients" because this phrase can mean almost anything.

We would not know which products were being discussed without the that clause.

The product claiming "all natural ingredients," which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale.
The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.

NOTE: Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.



3.
If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.


Examples:

That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.

Those ideas, which we've discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.

NOTE: Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.

Example:

That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.

Better: That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:42 pm
by Peter
Very interesting post, Roby. That and which is an argument that continues to baffle many people, to the extent that not a few simply use that all the time.

One thing, on a grammatical note.
Roby wrote:That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Being absolutely pedantic ( :) :lol: :) ) the correct grammatical structure is: That is a decision WITH WHICH you must live for the rest of your life.

Now, whether that reads better is debatable... :) :)

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:43 pm
by Roby
Peter wrote:Very interesting post, Roby. That and which is an argument that continues to baffle many people, to the extent that not a few simply use that all the time.

One thing, on a grammatical note.
Roby wrote:That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Being absolutely pedantic ( :) :lol: :) ) the correct grammatical structure is: That is a decision WITH WHICH you must live for the rest of your life.

Now, whether that reads better is debatable... :) :)
That's funny.... This I took for the site... Check it out.

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:02 pm
by Peter
Roby wrote:That's funny.... This I took for the site... Check it out.
er... did you mean to include a link, Roby? :?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:40 pm
by Roby
Peter wrote:
Roby wrote:That's funny.... This I took for the site... Check it out.
er... did you mean to include a link, Roby? :?

Click on the link in the orginal post to see how everything is written.

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:56 am
by isablu
splendido Roby! grazie degli esempi e delle spiegazioni. Volevo chiedere: nell'esempio
That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.
poniamo che io avessi messo il with alla fine, così:

That is a decision you must live for the rest of your life with.

penso che sia errato, ma puoi darmi qualche riferimento? grazie tantissime :lol:

isabella

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:50 am
by Peter
isablu wrote:poniamo che io avessi messo il with alla fine, così:

That is a decision you must live for the rest of your life with.

penso che sia errato, ma puoi darmi qualche riferimento? grazie tantissime
Cara Isabella

Sebbene si lo veda spessimo, nella grammatica inglese si non dovrebbe finire una frase con una preposizione come with, in, at ecc. :) È semplicemente una delle regole della lingua inglese - be' perlomeno British English.

Quello che ha detto Roby, e io nel mio messaggio precedente, è corretto. :) :)

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:31 pm
by Roby
Peter wrote:
isablu wrote:poniamo che io avessi messo il with alla fine, così:

That is a decision you must live for the rest of your life with.

penso che sia errato, ma puoi darmi qualche riferimento? grazie tantissime
Cara Isabella

Sebbene si lo veda spessimo, nella grammatica inglese si non dovrebbe finire una frase con una preposizione come with, in, at ecc. :) È semplicemente una delle regole della lingua inglese - be' perlomeno British English.

Quello che ha detto Roby, e io nel mio messaggio precedente, è corretto. :) :)


@ Isabella.... As Peter has explained .... In English (also AE), one should not finish a sentence with a preposition.

@Peter Thanks .... I like your example too. I have seen it written both ways with which and just which.

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:26 pm
by jade
Ciao a tutti,

Can I say:

"That is a decision WHICH you must live WITH for the rest of your life."?

Grazie.

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:49 pm
by Roby
Peter wrote:
isablu wrote:poniamo che io avessi messo il with alla fine, così:

That is a decision you must live for the rest of your life with.

penso che sia errato, ma puoi darmi qualche riferimento? grazie tantissime
Cara Isabella

Sebbene si lo veda spessimo, nella grammatica inglese si non dovrebbe finire una frase con una preposizione come with, in, at ecc. :) È semplicemente una delle regole della lingua inglese - be' perlomeno British English.

Quello che ha detto Roby, e io nel mio messaggio precedente, è corretto. :) :)

@ Peter

Here is a interesting thing regarding "ending a sentence wth a preposition."



http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/probPrep.asp

There are ways to rewrite a sentence so that it does not end in a preposition. This is what I was taught.



They are actually called Adverbial particles. Prepositions in a verbal phrase are called Adverbial particles.

http://www.wisegeek.com/are-you-really- ... sition.htm

Upon first glance, it may seem that some words at the end of a sentences are prepositions, when in fact they are parts of the verb. For example, a sentence ending with "put up" or "put up with" is not grammatically incorrect. In these cases, "up" and "up with" are adverbial particle

I hope that this helps.

.

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 am
by brindge
Hi Jade,
This is a tough one, but to me it would be correct to say:

"That is a decision WITH WHICH you must live WITH for the rest of your life." or "That is a decision THAT you must live WITH for the rest of your life."

What does everyone else think about this??? Now I'm starting to second guess myself...and English is my native language :?

Barbara

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:41 pm
by Peter
brindge wrote:"That is a decision WITH WHICH you must live WITH for the rest of your life." or "That is a decision THAT you must live WITH for the rest of your life."
Barbara

You cannot use the word WITH twice; it is either WITH WHICH or "WHICH .... WITH", the latter being, in my humble opinion, not the most correct English, although it is used more in the spoken word, since essentially, spoken English is more... um.... lazy (?) than the written word!

As to your second phrase, again it's what we say. However, would it not be better written as "IT is a decision THAT etc...", thus gettiing rid of one of the THATs! :) :) :)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:47 pm
by brindge
Peter - yes, I like the last sentence much better!! Thanks...it's funny that we never really think about these things until a question like this comes up..and then it makes us really sit and reflect on what is correct.

A presto.
Barbara

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:00 pm
by isablu
grazie native English! e grazie Roby per i riferimenti che mi hanno chiarito il problema:
That is a decision you must live for the rest of your life with.
with in questa frase si riferisce a decision perchè which/that è stato omesso, questo salto di 9 parole è decisamente troppo, risulta poco chiaro e rimane in sospeso. Come fare equilibrismo fra i riferimenti!
Scusate, stasera sono un po' imbranata! ciao
isabella

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:20 pm
by jade
Thank you, Barbara and Peter.

I heard the sentence used in spoken English, and did not know it should not be used in written English.

Barbara, sorry for bringing this question up since English is not my native language.