RE: Which, that Grammar?

Subject: RE: Which, that Grammar?
From: "Stuart Rogers" <srogers -at- phoenix-geophysics -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 13:26:55 -0500


Sorry, but Word is correct. "Which" is non-defining, "that" is defining.
Here, you are defining the tender price by its bid status, so it is "a
tender price that has already been bid on." Similarly with notices that
have Related Holdings.

Consider for example:

The notices, which you do not have to read, are in the file.
(non-defining; applies to all notices)
The notices that you do not have to read are in the file; the notices
that you must read are on the board. (defines two groups of notices)

A clue to correct usage is the comma before "which"; another is that if
you *can* use "that" and the sentence still makes sense, it's probably
right -- if you can't use "that," then "which" will be right.

E.g., The notices, that you do not have to read, are in the file.

For a thorough discussion, see Modern English Usage by Fowler.


Stuart Rogers
Technical Communicator
Phoenix Geophysics Limited
+1 (416) 491-7340 x 325

mailto:srogers -at- phoenix-geophysics -dot- com

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-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-88731 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-88731 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com] On Behalf Of Ed Manley
Sent: February 13, 2002 11:26 AM
Subject: Which, that Grammar?

Hi all,

MS Word's grammar checker and I disagree on the use of the words "that"
and "which".

Consider the sentence "If an election is submitted with a tender price
which has already been bid on, the elected units from that election are
added to what is already allocated." Is which correct in that context?
Never mind that the rest of the sentence sucks - just stick with that
issue which is before us.

How about that word which appears again in this one "The Notice List
will be modified to include notices which have Related Holdings assigned
to the eTRAN User."?

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Which, that Grammar?: From: Ed Manley

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