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Which or That?

What is the difference between which (or who) and that,and how can you tell which one to use?



The basic question is whether you, or the person you are talking to, already know what it is that you are talking about. In the sentence 'I've lost the book that I was reading yesterday', that introduces information that the listener needs in order to know what book is being talked about. You can also say 'I've lost the book which I was reading yesterday'.

In 'This book, which I bought yesterday, is very interesting', which tells the listener something new about a book that has already been identified. You shouldn't use that in sentences of this kind.

One of the most commonly abused rules in the English language relates to the proper use of “who” and “that.” Click here to find a logic and easy to remember rule

QUIZ ON WHICH, THAT, and WHO

Below each sentence select the pronoun that will best fit in the blank. The explanation will describe the process of arriving at the correct choice for that sentence. If you choose the correct response, it might still be a good idea to consult the explanation, to see if your explanation is the same as our explanation.


1. People ________ live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
who
which
that
Responses:


2. Walden Pond, ______ was written in the mid-1800s, remains a popular book among romantic and individualistic Americans.
who
which
that
Responses:


3. She prefers to watch movies ______ make her cry.
who
which
that
Responses:


4. He bought all the books ________ are required for the course.
who
which
that
Responses:


5. In the crowd were several recruits _______ are regarded as excellent prospects for next year's team.
who
which
that
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6. The police were able to find no evidence against her, _____ surprised no one who knows her well.
who
which
that
Responses:


7. Tashonda Viereck's children, ______ all graduated from college, came home for her eightieth birthday.
who
which
that
Responses:


8. Predictably, the students _____ did best were not the ones who stayed up all night studying.
who
which
that
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9. She wanted to buy a scarf _______ would complement her blue eyes.
who
which
that
Responses:


10. The answers, ________ you can find in the back of the book, are sometimes incorrect.
who
which
that
Responses: