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Hello english world,

I have been facing difficulty in understanding the usage of the words 'that ' and 'which'. I have no clear understanding of which word is more appropriate in what situation.

For example which one is correct in the following sentence.

1) There are some company rules THAT every employee must comply with.

2) There are some company rules WHICH every employee must comply with.

Thanks & Regards
Pradeep
1 2
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Pradeep_tpHello english world,

I have been facing difficulty in understanding the usage of the words 'that ' and 'which'. I have no clear understanding of which word is more appropriate in what situation.

For example which one is correct in the following sentence.

1) There are some company rules THAT every employee must comply with.

2) There are some company rules WHICH every employee must comply with.

Thanks & Regards
Pradeep
Place "with" where it technically belongs and you'll see the difference between 'with which' (correct) and 'with that' (no way!).
Hello Pradeep

#1 and #2 are both correct.
1) (o) There are some company rules that every employee must comply with.
2) (o) There are some company rules which every employee must comply with.

When you use "that" as the relative, you cannot put "with" before the relative.
3) (x) There are some company rules with that every employee must comply.
In the case of "which", you can put "with" before the relative.
4) (o) There are some company rules with which every employee must comply.

paco
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Pradeep_tp
Hello english world,

I have been facing difficulty in understanding the usage of the words 'that ' and 'which'. I have no clear understanding of which word is more appropriate in what situation.

'Which' and 'that' overlap when it comes to relative clauses. In this specific construction don't use 'which' to refer to humans. Some also say that you should use 'that' in defining relative clauses and 'which' in non-defining. Personally, I don't think you should worry about that too much, though. Anyway, I think that's all you have to think about when it comes to relative clauses. In such constructions 'which' and 'that' are mostly interchangable.

'Which' and 'that' are also used in entirely different ways that don't overlap. 'That' can be used as (1) a subordinate conjunction, (2) a demonstrative determiner or (3) as a demonstrative pronoun, and 'which' can be used as (a) an interrogative pronoun or (b) as an interrogative determiner.

1. I am afraid that I cannot help you.

2. That man is always here.

3. That is the way to go.

a. Which is the right way to go?

b. Which way shall I go?

Hi All,

Thank you all for your time and commitment in answering this question Emotion: smile

Thanks
Pradeep
Plus, why does MS Word /always/ suggest inserting a comma before "which"? Is that correct as a rule?
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Ignore that MS Word nonsense.
They only allow which as a relative in non-restrictive clauses -- a fairly inane practice, really.
But it's much easier to progam the system to find these!
Sometimes the tail wags the dog.

Emotion: smile
CJ
I once heard an explanation about "which" versus "that" on BBC learningenglish.com's Ask about English (www.bbclearningenglish.com/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer ), and it clarified my thought quite a bit.

I hope it would be useful to Pradeep, too.

Here it is:

In a relative clause, we can use 'who' or 'whom' for people, and 'which' for things. So we can say: 'the man who came to dinner', or 'the bridge which crosses the Ganges up river from here'. So: 'the man who came to dinner', 'the bridge which crosses the Ganges'.

Now, 'that' is less formal, and it can be used for both people and things in some relative clauses. So I could say, less formally: 'the man that came to dinner', 'the bridge that crosses the Ganges'.

But, 'That' can only be used in what we call identifying relative clauses and those are clauses where you need the information to understand what you're talking about. Those were both identifying relative clauses, but if I said: 'Mr Swan, who came to dinner', I don't need 'who came to dinner' to define Mr Swan, I've already identified him. So, you can not use 'that' in that sentence, and you can not use 'that' if you are talking about: 'Waterloo Bridge, which crosses the Thames up river from here'. So, that's when you use 'which' for identifying relative clauses and for non-identifying relative clauses, but you can only use 'that' informally for identifying relative clauses.

I hope, this link will be useful Emotion: smile

http://home.earthlink.net/~llica/wichthat.htm
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