Monday, August 8, 2011

That vs. Which--The info.

Which and that. Do you know how to use them? I will admit, I'm pretty sure I have misused. In fact, I guarantee it. I see my CPs smirking. :)

Let's start off with which--This word is usually surrounded by commas and you use it if a group of words adds information. If you took it out of the sentence, the sentence would still mean the same thing.

Example: The cat, which is black and white, jumped off the ledge.
I'm adding information to which cat it is. Simple right?

Now let's head over to that--This word is used when you are limiting the things you are talking about. If you got rid of it, the sentence would mean something different.

Example: Cars that are black retain heat.
 I'm specifying a specific type of car vs. all cars. If I took out that information the sentence would not have the same meaning.

Now, is this easy to see when you are writing? Not all the time. I could read a sentence over a million times and still miss it ( mainly because my eyes are crossed and my brain is fried). That's why we have crit partners, right?
 I think I made that lesson easy.

Here are some links for more information.
Better writing 

Grammar Girl

So, how is your usage of which and that? Any other tips?

Oh and if you are following the YA Crush Tourney --Zachary Moore won the next round. Go #TeamKilt. You know I love Jeri Smith Ready's books so I'm voting for Zach all the way. Next match up is on August 10th.
Yeah, I know this says August 5th, but it was the only button I could find at the moment. Next vote August 10th.
Have a great day!!


  1. I haven't had a problem with which and that. Other things - yes. But this area has been okay. Great explanation.

  2. My loosest definition has been which things breathe, that is inanimate.

    Your explanation makes more sense :)

  3. My head is spinning already! :) Ugh, grammar.

    Thanks for this, though, Christine. I'm always looking for an easy way to understand those finicky points.

  4. Great lesson today! And, (as you well know) I mess which and that all the time! Thanks for showing examples--it helps! And oh yeah- Team Zach all the way!

  5. Good lesson! I think I get that one right most of the time.

  6. I worked with a very good editor once a long time ago, and he taught me the difference in which/that. He also taught me how to use i.e. and e.g. correctly, and the difference in affect and effect.

    But I still screw up that last one. :D

  7. I'm getting pretty good at them. And usually when I go back, I find I can delete a lot of my "that's".

  8. "That" is becoming a pet peeve of mine...just ask the people in my critique group. :) Thanks for the reminders here.

  9. I think the usage it pretty well under control, but I may slip from time to time. :P

  10. LOL; I have to catch these mistakes on editing. To hard to think about when under the writing impetus :)


  11. hi miss christine! thanks for a cool grammar lession. i stopped using so much thats and my stuff sound way better. mostly i just charge ahead and dont think so much bout whiches and thats. i just let my cp tell me what need fixing. :)
    ...hugs from lenny