• That or Which? Video with Quiz

    It can be difficult to know when to use That or Which in English, they are used in English relative clauses. To non-native speakers, the words can often seem like they have very similar meanings. In the video below, Teauna explains the difference. Watch the video, then try our quiz.

    English Relative Clauses

    The dependent clauses in bold below are called relative clauses, have a look at them,  also known as adjective clauses.

    Isaac Newton was born on 25 December 1642,in a manor house in Lincolnshire, England

    Relative clauses provide extra information about the nouns or noun phrases preceding them. They start with relative pronouns, such as thatwhichwhowhomwhose, or where. Also, relative clauses can modify both subjects and objects.

    1. Subject Relative Clause

    Example:   It was Einstein’s great intellect that captured the public’s imagination.  

    Form:   [subject complement] + [relative pronoun] + [verb]…

    In the example sentence above, the subject complement Einstein’s great intellect is modified by the relative pronoun who.

    2. Object Relative Clause

    Example:   He had a learning disability which affected his speech.

    Form:  [object] + [relative pronoun] + [verb]…

    In the example sentence above, the object a learning disability is modified by the relative pronoun which.

    Click here to try our That or Which quiz.


    English Relative Clause Exercise

    Directions: Choose the correct word(s) to complete the following sentences.

    1. He excelled in mathematics, and in Latin, which / who he respected.

    2. Einstein may have been a man of science who / whom was also deeply spiritual.

    3. What I see in nature is a magnificent structure that / who we can only comprehend imperfectly.

    4. Have you read the article that were / we were talking about yesterday?

    5. There are hundreds of books about him that were / we were published this year alone.

    English Relative Clause Matching Exercise

    Directions: Match each sentence in the first column to the sentence in the second column. Then combine the sentences using a relative clause.

    Example: Immigration is an important issue. It concerns many people. 

                    Immigration is an important issue which concerns many people. 


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