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THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction.

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THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 15 May 2013, 03:20
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Hi All

I want to be very sure of the usage of THAT vs WHICH in Gmat. Below are the points which I use whenever there is a confusion between THAT and WHICH. Please advise whether this understanding is correct and suggest some more rules to distinguish between THAT & WHICH

Below are some of the Rules which I use. Please validate them.

Rule #1 - Let’s say a sentence is there and you want to decide whether you should use That or Which. Follow these rules –
1) We use a “that clause” when the topic of discussion is unclear up to that point. 2) We use a “which clause” when the topic of discussion is clear up to that point.
Examples - A) Gina enjoys television shows that have laugh tracks. B) Gina enjoys television shows, which have laugh tracks. Now in both sentences this line is common - " Gina Enjoys Television Shows". Now think over a moment that at this point is discussion very clear?? No the discussion is not. It merely says that Gina enjoys television shows .It can be any show --horror, comedy , sports etc. Since the discussion is not clear we will use "THAT".

Another Example - A ) Rahul Visited Delhi , which is capital city of India. b) Rahul Visited Delhi that is capital city of India. Now the common line is – Rahul Visited Delhi. This information is sufficient . Moreover whatever information we have after this is additional. Since the Information is complete at that point we will use "WHICH"


Rule #2 –I use “Which” when there is a non-essential modifier and use “THAT” when there is an essential modifier.

I use these two rules whenever there is a confusion between THAT and WHICH. Please suggest are there any more rules which we can use to overcome THAT vs WHICH in Gmat. Please advise.
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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 16 May 2013, 02:27
Hi

I am waiting for response . Can anyone add some more information to this topic.

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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 16 May 2013, 02:37
Your rules 1 and 2 are actually the same, just worded differently.... And yes, this is the best way to check whther one should use "that" or "which"
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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 16 May 2013, 08:13
rsharma9153 wrote:
Rule #2 –I use “Which” when there is a non-essential modifier and use “THAT” when there is an essential modifier.


This is the only rule you need here. Please remember to flank Non-essential modifiers with commas (", which (...),") and not to flank Essential modifiers ("that") with them. Whether a modifier is essential or not depends mostly on the author's intention.
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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 01:56
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"That" should be used to introduce a restrictive clause.
"Which" should be used to introduce a non-restrictive clause.

Note: 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.

Look at the following two sentences.

(1) My house that is located in the city is off for sale.
(2) My house, which is located in the city, is off for sale.

First sentence suggests that I have more than one house and other houses are not located in the city.

If the parts in italics are removed, both the sentences become: My house is off for sale. This sentence has the same meaning as that of (2) but has a different meaning from that of (1).
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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction. [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 07:15
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Yes - as doe mentioned,

that - is used to restrict the scope of what you are talking about
which - is used to provide further general description

Here's an example question:


Musicians of the 17th century often enjoyed baroque style music that during the time was prominent primarily because of the works of J.S. Bach.

(A) music that during the time was prominent primarily because of the works of J.S. Bach

(B) music that was, during the time, prominent primarily because of J.S. Bach's works

(C) music, which, because of the works of J.S. Bach, were primarily prominent during the time

(D) music, that was prominent primarily because of the works of J.S. Bach during the time

(E) music, which was prominent during the time primarily because of the works of J.S. Bach

Answer and video explanation: http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... stion/2056

Notice here that the phrase "that during the time was prominent primarily because of the works of J.S. Bach" - does NOT restrict the scope of the "baroque style music" we are talking about.

In other words, it's not that there are lots of different kinds of baroque style music -- and the KIND that we are talking about is the KIND THAT was prominent primarily because of X. Since this is not the case, then usage of THAT here is not correct. We would use WHICH instead since the phrase above provides GENERAL DESCRIPTION of baroque style music - rather than a specific kind of baroque style of music.
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Re: THAT vs WHICH in GMAT sentence correction.   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2013, 07:15
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