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Subject:Re: That and Which--is it worth it? From:"Virginia L. Krenn" <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU> Date:Fri, 16 Dec 1994 08:59:26 -0600
Because your second example did not sound quite right to me, I looked up
that/which in Handbook of technical Writing by Brusaw, Alred, Oliu.
Which, rather than that, should be used with nonrestrictive clauses
(clauses that do not change the meaning of the basic sentence).
After John left the restaurant, which is one of the best in New York, he
came directly to my office.
A company that diversifies often succeeds.
Those two examples sound more like the way I would use these two words.
Generally if I am adding additional information that could be omitted, then
I would use 'which'. If the information is necessary, then I would use
I would write your second sentence as follows.
We purchased some software that provided all of the necessary features.
We purchased a software package that provided all of the necessary
Neither of these sentences imply that there is only one kind of software
that has all of the necessary features.
______________________________ Reply Separator _____________________
Author: Gail DeCamp <decampg -at- smtplink -dot- ngc -dot- com> at SMTP
I have a that/which question. I've had reputable sources tell me that
there are distinct rules for using "that" and "which"....namely, that
one is restrictive and the other is not. Here are the rules:
Restrictive: We purchased the software that provided all the necessary
features. (This sentence suggests that only one kind of software had
Non-restrictive: We purchased the software, which provided all the
necessary features. (This sentence suggests that there are lots of
kinds of software that could provide the features.)
Does anyone else out there follow this rule? It seems pretty subtle to
me. (If it changed the meaning of a sentence, I might worry about it,
but otherwise I would not.)