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Mouse Songs
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Earth
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A Plankhouse Past
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Fakes in the museum
Fish
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Trout
Carp
Food and Nutrition
A Taste for Cheese
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Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
Who vs. Whom
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Math of the World
Monkeys Count
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What the appendix is good for
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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Invisibility Ring
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Bright Blooms That Glow
Underwater Jungles
The algae invasion
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Space and Astronomy
A Planet from the Early Universe
Cousin Earth
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Dancing with Robots
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Are Propellers Fin-ished?
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Middle school science adventures
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Warmest Year on Record
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Recipe for a Hurricane
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Who vs. That vs. Which

Rule 1

Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.

Examples:
Anya is the one who rescued the bird.
Lokua is on the team that won first place. 
She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species.

Rule 2

That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.

Examples:
I do not trust products that claim "all natural ingredients" because this phrase can mean almost anything.
We would not know which products were being discussed without the that clause.
The product claiming "all natural ingredients," which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale.
The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.

NOTE: Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.

Rule 3

If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.

Examples:
That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Those ideas, which we've discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.

NOTE: Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.

Example:
That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.

Better:
That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.

 

Who vs. That vs. Which









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