3
   

that vs who

 
 
austere
 
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2013 04:26 am
"I know the boy. . . . Stole my pen"
1 who
2 that
what will be the best answer?
Can we use "that" in place of "who"?
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 575 • Replies: 5
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2013 09:03 am
You may use either, although some grammar writers will suggest that you should use 'that' with things and animals and 'who' with people.




swastik
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2013 06:40 am
@austere,
"That" is not an appropriate word in this sentence. We can't use "that" in the place of "who".
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2013 07:32 am
@swastik,
swastik wrote:
"That" is not an appropriate word in this sentence.

Yes it is.

swastik wrote:
We can't use "that" in the place of "who".

See my previous post above. Using 'that' in reference to humans is not an error. It is a question of style, not grammar. While most editors prefer 'who' for people, there is no rule saying we can’t use 'that', which has been widely used in reference to people for many centuries. It remains so today, especially in British writing.

Labour insiders argue that Balls is probably the man that can most effectively deliver a reshaping of the party’s economic policy. [The Guardian]

This demonstrates how completely out of touch they have become with the people that they purport to speak on behalf of. [The Daily Telegraph]



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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2013 10:59 am
@contrex,
Quote:
although some grammar writers will suggest that you should use 'that' with things and animals and 'who' with people.


Every once in a while, you offer some half assed advice, C.

Ignore "grammar writers" who offer such nonsense for they are neither grammarians or writers.

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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2013 11:05 am
@austere,
Quote:
I know the boy. . . . Stole my pen"
1 who
2 that
what will be the best answer?
Can we use "that" in place of "who"?


As C said, both THAT and WHO are possible in this situation, a defining relative clause. WHO becomes obligatory when the situation is a non-defining relative clause.

I know the boy who/that stole my pen. This boy, Bill, who/that lives down the block, used to be my friend.

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