Anyway, in addition to answering the above could someone recommend a good book with tapes which covers vocabulary and grammar. I hope to write short stories and articles, but am not confident with my grammar or vocabulary. If only my school had done things the old way.
"that" effectively makes the right hand clause into an adjective. For example "This is the house that Jack built" -- here "that Jack built" is part of the description of the house.
"which" (or more precisely, ", which", since you need the preceding comma) just adds a descriptive phrase which supplements the sentence. For example "This is Jack's house, which is quite large".
The essential difference is that "This is the house" does not narrow down WHICH house you're referencing, so you add "that Jack built" to make that distinction. On the other hand "This is Jack's house" DOES narrow down which house you're referencing, and so you don't need to narrow it down further, and so you don't need "that".
In British English, the difference between the two meanings is carried entirely by the comma, and "which" and "that" are interchangable in this context.
I can't advise you on books and tapes though. Apologies for that.
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It taught me many of the difficult things like you are asking about in a simple easy to remember way.
This website is useful and gives examples:
- Siddharth Jindal
People are waiting to help.
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