#GrammarSeries- This is the difference between ‘which’ or ‘that’ in a sentence.

Grammar concept with toy dice

Hello Sparkle Writers, trust that your week started off great and that you are already writing amazing pieces in 2017.

On our #GrammarSeries today, two popular pronouns will be explained. so if you have ever been at crossroads on whether to use ‘this’ or  ‘which’ while writing, this post will do you a lot of good.

The difference between ‘this’ and ‘which’ is simple, one is a restrictive element and the other is not. Before you start wondering what restrictive elements are, let us make this easier to understand

A restrictive element is part of a sentence you can’t get rid of because it specifically restricts the noun.

Look at this example

Soups that contain fish taste really good.

The words “that contain” restrict the kind of soups we’re talking about. Without those words, the meaning of the sentence would change. Without them, we’d be saying that all soups that really good.

Restrictive elements aren’t surrounded by commas.

Here’s another example:

Dogs that howl make me crazy.

We can’t get rid of the words “that howl” because then we’d be saying all dogs make us crazy, not just the ones that howl. 

On the other hand, a non restrictive element is something that can be left off without changing the meaning of the sentence. A non restrictive element is simply additional information.

So if we say: 

Soups which contain fish taste really good. 

This means that (all soups contain fish) and they taste really good. 

We hope you got the difference. 

Let’s take one final example to ensure that you get it now. 

The books, which have red covers, are new.

The books that have red covers are new.

In the first sentence, the words “which have red covers” are adding information about the books. That is, they’re telling you more about the books than you’d otherwise have known. (They’re red, not some other color.) All of the books are new.

In the second sentence, the words “that have red covers” are limiting which books we’re talking about. We’re no longer talking about all the books; we’re only talking about the ones with red covers. So this time, only the red books are new.

We hope this has helped you understand the difference between the two pronouns. ‘Until next week remember to keep your grammar in check! 


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