GrammarPhile Blog

That or Which?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 18, 2013 5:45:00 AM

That or which?This is a common mistake we see in documents submitted by our clients. Do you know when to use that and when to use which?

Use that when the words following it are necessary to identify the word that refers to.

Example: "The river that flows by my door is rising."

You cannot remove the that clause, because you wouldn't know which river is being referred to. The sentence would simply read: "The river is rising."

Use which when the words following it are not necessary to identify the word it refers to.

Example: "The Indian River, which flows by my town, is rising."

You can remove the which clause, because you would know which river is being referred to - the Indian River. The sentence would read: "The Indian River is rising." Note: When using which, use commas to separate the clause. When using that, don't use commas.

Click here to download Common Grammar Rules


Topics: which, that

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