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Use of 'which'

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Manager
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Use of 'which'  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2010, 01:53
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Is the use of 'which', without a comma, decisively wrong?
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Joined: 22 Sep 2010
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Schools: MBA, Thunderbird School of Global Management / BA, Wesleyan University
Re: Use of 'which'  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2010, 19:02
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jatinrai,

This is a great (if old) question. If you are using "which" at the start of the noun modifier, it must follow a comma. For example:

"I like my house, which is blue, better than your house." --> Correct. ", which is blue" modifiers my house.

Note that the ", which" must sit adjacent to the noun it is modifying.

Here's the exception to the "comma before the which" rule:

"Which piece of cake would you like?" --> This is correct. You don't need a comma because the "which" is at the beginning of the sentence and it is not acting as a modifier. It is acting as a pronoun.

"Did you decide which car you want to buy?" -->Again, same logic as above.

Great question! Hope this explanation helps people!
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Re: Use of 'which'  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2010, 19:19
Thanks BKimball.

I was never aware of this comma rule as I have never came across an answer choice that was wrong simply because it was missing a comma before 'which' when used as a noun modifier.
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Re: Use of 'which'  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 07:43
Hi expert,

I have a question about "which". I understand that when used as a modifier, it must "touch" the noun it modifies and is usually used as a modifier that doesn't narrow the topic of the noun.
Now, I have 2 questions that I don't understand:
1. We become more alert and responsive, which is appropriate when we’re in danger. This is a sentence from a highly respected review. Is the use of "which" here valid (for GMAT purposes)?
2. I encountered this GMAT question:

Gusty westerly winds will continue to usher in a seasonably cool air mass into the region, as a broad area of high pressure will build and bring fair and dry weather for several days.

A. to usher in a seasonably cool air mass into the region, as a broad area of high pressure will build and
B. ushering in a seasonably cool air mass into the region and a broad area of high pressure will build that
C. to usher in a seasonably cool air mass to the region, a broad area of high pressure building, and
D. ushering a seasonably cool air mass in the region, with a broad area of high pressure building and
E. to usher a seasonably cool air mass into the region while a broad area of high pressure builds, which will

Here the right answer is E, even though the verb builds separates between "which" and the noun it modifies "a broad area of high pressure"!
How am I supposed to know when a verb can make this separation? I've heard about a theory that "builds" act as a linking verb (since when?), so it doesn't really separate the two.

Please help :)

Mike
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Use of 'which' &nbs [#permalink] 01 Nov 2017, 07:43
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