Confused where to use that and where to use which? Don’t worry, please follow me to clear your doubt.
I do not trust products (that/which) claim “all natural ingredients”.
Use “that” with restrictive clauses and “which” with nonrestrictive clauses.
From the above example, you don’t know which product I am talking about, so use “that”.
The product claiming “all natural ingredients,” which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale. Here you know which product I am talking about, so use “which”
To make it simple.
=> A restrictive clause is one which is essential to the meaning of a sentence – if it’s removed, the meaning of the sentence will change.
Eg: The shirt that you lent me is in my bag.
=> A non-restrictive clause can be left out without changing the meaning of a sentence.
Eg: The shirt, which is red, is in my bag.
Note: Non-restrictive clauses are either in brackets or have a comma before and after them (or only before them if they come at the end of a sentence).
Why correct usage of that/which is important?
Changing that to which or vice versa can completely change the meaning of a sentence.
- My car that is blue goes very fast. – It is understood that you own more than one car.
- My car, which is blue, goes very fast. – You just own a blue car.
To convey the right meaning, use that/which correctly!
Still confused about “THAT”?
Apart from using in restrictive relative clause, the word that is also used grammatically in the English language for several purposes:
- as a demonstrative pronoun (“That was hard.”)
- as a demonstrative adjective (“That test was hard.”)
- as an adverb (“The test wasn’t that bad.”)