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# I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which

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I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2010, 06:53
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I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which or that is used. I know that after a comma which is used to modify the noun before the comma but what about that.

Can a participle modify a noun that comes before the comma?

Please I need a good explanation for this! Thanks.

Mari
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Re: I need an explanation! [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2010, 11:44
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mariyea wrote:
I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which or that is used. I know that after a comma which is used to modify the noun before the comma but what about that.

Can a participle modify a noun that comes before the comma?

Please I need a good explanation for this! Thanks.

Mari

Hi..

I am not a master of SC.. but let me try

that vs which

That introduces a clause that is required to make the sentence stand on its own
Which modifies the noun immediatly before it and bring in the info which is additional

-ing form after comma modifies entire clause before the comma.
-ing after noun w/o comma modifies the noun before it.

I picked up a fruit hanging from the tree. - i am on the ground and picked up the fruit that was hanging
I picked up a fruit, hanging from the tree - i was hanging on the tree and picked up the fruit.

Hope this helps.... i am open for discussion on this... am sure others can also conribute or correct

If you wan more expamples on this pm me mail id.. will send u the same

e.g.
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Re: I need an explanation! [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2010, 10:09
hirendhanak's explanation is pretty good here! To recap: "That" introduces an essential clause and does not follow a comma and "which" introduces a non-essential clause and should follow a comma. For example:

"The house that I bought is blue." --> Here, "that I bought" is necessary to the meaning of the sentence.
"The house, which I bought, is blue." --> Here, in contrast, "which I bought" is extra information. To use this construction, you'd really need to some additional information either earlier in the sentence or in another sentence to make it clear what house you are discussing.

For example: The shutters were white, the mailbox was red, but the house, which I bought, was blue."

That help?

Remember the key: "which" uses commas, but "that" doesn't.

Brett

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Re: I need an explanation! [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 09:18

I have a question though. Can that modify a clause before it? I know that which can modify a clause that comes before it but I was just wondering about that. Can you clarify that part for me? Thanks.
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Last edited by mariyea on 03 Jan 2011, 09:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I need an explanation! [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 12:09
Great explanations!

However, I have seen sometimes that "which" modifies an entire clause in some sentences.

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Re: I need an explanation! [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 19:10
@metallicafan
Hi...it would be a great learning experience if can you share those sentences... may be we can ask Bkimball to evauluate same.

I also forgot to mention in my post that there is an exception where which might not refer back to immediatly preceding word. when preposition is used as a part of group of words preceding which , pls see the below mentioned example

If antecedent is a part of the prepositional phrase before "which" , "which" may not directly refer back to words it is attatched with.
e.g.
The picture above fireplace, which was taken last year in mexico, is one of my favourites

here , which refers to the picture taken, in such situations :

1) we must try to rephrase the sentence, if possible to ensure that "which" touches the preceding word.
2)if that is not possible to rephrase sentence then there is no harm in usage of which as mentioned above

the ideal construction with which / that is what has been described in above posts, and almost every time i hve seen the usage of "that and which "as per the rules authenticated by Bkimball.

@Bkimball

usage of "which and that" is the one of the most important points in GMAT, and i hve explained something on the fundamentals of this rule, so i would request you to correct me if i am wrong anywhere in my explanation, so there is no misunderstanding on this rule and my post doesnt misguide anyone because i am not master of verbal , just learning Can you also address two questions along with this

1) how frequently do we see usage of which , where "where" might not refer back to immediate preceding word ? ( in context of GMAT )
2) If you could address any situation where "which" might refer back to entire clause preceding "which"(as mentioned by ( metallicafan in one of the previous posts ) because i am yet to learn this aspect if there are any exceptions

Thanks
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Re: I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2013, 23:58
I advise to refer to the great articles from e-gmat for your understanding.This is from my personal experience.

http://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html-see the examples.You can clearly get an idea of usage of 'which'.
http://gmatclub.com/forum/learn-how-that-can-help-you-demystify-a-long-sentence-138358.html-see the examples for usage of 'that'.

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Re: I need to understand grammatically why, how and when which   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2013, 23:58
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