English Grammar


that vs which

In Singapore Icarus stayed at the hotel that Susie recommended to him.


The pronoun introducing the relative clause is 'that'. It must be 'that'. I'd be wrong saying 'which' instead of 'that' in that sentence.


In Singapore Icarus stayed at the Fragrance Hotel, which Susie recommended to him.


The pronoun introducing the relative clause is 'which'. It must be 'which'. I'd be wrong saying 'that' instead of 'which' in that sentence.


I'm sure both sentences here above are correct. But I'd like the rule be given by someone who'd be so kind as to give it.

9 comments

  • Hello Sandy Aye omen,


    the 3 differences between your two main clauses are: the name of the hotel, the big letters and the comma in the second one.


    1.at the hotel that Susie recommended


    2.at the Fragrance Hotel, which Susie recommended


    ad 1.) Here the relative clause is necessary, because we don't know, what hotel is meant. The relative clause in that case is named "defining". The "that" without proceeding comma even can be omitted: at the hotel Susie recommended (contact clause, where the that is the object and not the subject= Susie recommended the hotel)


    ad 2.) here we already know the name of the hotel, there is nothing else necessary, but you may add a supplemantary remark, "which Susie recommended": a non-defining relative clause. You have to place the comma and the which.


    (CW)
  • Fantabulous! Thank you, Gwendo. One couldn't make oneself more clear.
    I for one knew intuitively how to say but I wasn't able to tell the rule.
    The answer (that) you give will be quite useful to me.
    Your answer, which will be useful to me, is perfectly clear.


    (CW)


    (Own text Correction: in the question (that) I wrote the day before yesterday, I said "I'd like the rule be given" but "I'd like" doesn't call for a present subjunctive. I think I should have written: I'd like the rule to be given. It was somehow a leak from my French. What do you think Gwendo?)
  • If you allow me to participate in your grammar talk, dont je profite very much:
    I would prefer neither "I'd like the rule be given" nor "I'd like the rule to be given", but "I'd like to know the rule."
    It's a fiddly grammar question.
  • Lovely jubbley! Freddie.
    Do you know what's the best way to sort out fiddly grammar issues?
    Just scrape away at one's fiddle.


    But you might possibly be a top-level violinist and you wouldn't for anything touch a fiddle.
    Anyway, thank you for speaking.
  • Hi Sandy,


    You are right to mention this construction under the chapter of "that or which".


    But what is complicating the problem here is the passive voice.


    Our producer proposed that we (should) perform hamlet.
    It was decided that AhQ (should) play the ghost.
    (That-clauses after certain verbs and verbal complexes demand should or Present Subjunctive, alternatively the infinitive construction): It is necessary tahat some of us take two parts.//
    It is necessary for some of us to take to parts.


    Exeption: I wish/ I'd rather: they don't need a "that" but the Past Subjunctive or Modal Past or Modal Past Perfect:
    I wish I could act like M.ST.
    She'd rather we hadn't sat so near the tree.
    After "want" the only possibility is the infinitive: When do you want us to turn the lights on.
    Why do you want us to give you the rules.
    If the translation is correct: You would like the rule to be given. (If want and would like are exchangeable in that case)
  • O Jamie, you are another master of grammar! (the first one is Gwendo.) I was quite interested in reading you.
    Though I think it'd be necessary you point out the main difference that makes out the "that" in my examples from the "that" in yours.
    The first ones are pronouns whereas yours are conjunctions.


    I suggest our chat about grammar be going on at each other's best convenience.
    Sandy
    (CW)
  • Hi Sandy, I think you didn't mean it, you were just kidding, weren't you?
    Because it was just a try.
    Thanks for stressing again the difference between that "that" as a relative pronoun and as a conjunction!!!
  • Never seen Sandy kidding, Jamie. Whatever she says is true truth.
    You may be proud, Jamie.
  • I feel a bit flattered then

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