Another grammatical grappler is the use of that vs. which. Here’s a final recent e-mail:
When should one use that as opposed to which in a sentence?
Often, it doesn’t matter. For instance, the first two sentences below are correct; however, the third sentence, which has neither that nor which, is preferable:
1. The project which is mine has a $15,000 budget.
2. The project that is mine has a $15,000 budget.
3. My project has a $15,000 budget.
Sometimes, we use the pronoun that restrictively (i.e., to clarify the noun to which it refers), and the pronoun which non-restrictively (i.e., when distinguishing the noun from other nouns). In the examples below, suppose our group has three laptops:
1. Our laptops, which are broken, should be replaced. (In this case, all three laptops are broken.)
2. Our laptops that are broken should be replaced. (In this case, only two laptops are broken.)
If this answer confuses you, remember that English isn’t so easy—its proper usage demands a lot of thinking!
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