When should you use which, that and who?
Notes from the video ‘Diffusion Academy| PSLE English Grammar |Which, that and who‘ :
When do we use which, who and that?
Which, who and that are relative pronouns and are used to link information to another word in the sentence.
For example, in this sentence:
The man who robbed me is at the door.
The relative clause who tells us more about the man at the door.
Who refers to people and which refers to groups or things.
For example, you could say:
He is one who sang the song or
The dog which ate my food is back.
That is usually used to refer to groups or things but can also be used to refer to people.
For example, “The Man That Got Away” is a wonderful song with a grammatical title.
What are the differences between which and that?
That introduces an essential clause or a clause that adds information that is vital to the point of the sentence.
For example, if you said, “I loved the watch that you gave me last year.”
We would know which watch you are talking about because of the clause.
On the other hand, which introduces a non-essential clause, or a clause that adds supplementary information.
For example, if I said, “My father, who lives in New York, is 70 this year.”
The clause provides additional information about my father and tells you that he lives in New York. If we remove this clause, it will not remove information vital to the point of the sentence.