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Relative pronouns - that and which - Word

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bucephalus, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. bucephalus Banned

    USA
    When typing, in Microsoft Word, commas are required before "which" but not "that."

    For example:
    It is a word which is very uncommon.
    Suggested changes:
    It is a word, which is very uncommon.
    It is a word that is very uncommon.

    Can anyone tell my why this is and whether it is important to follow this rule?
     
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Who said that Microsoft's grammar rules were always correct? :rolleyes:
     
  3. gliamo Senior Member

    Ireland
    France, French
    The first two sentences mean different things:

    It is a word which/that is very uncommon --> such a word is uncommon

    It is a word, which is very uncommon --> it is uncommon for 'it' to be a word.

    Punctuation helps mimic speech. Read both sentences aloud and the differences will become obvious.

    G.
     
  4. bucephalus Banned

    USA
    But do you feel that it is necessary to make the change to "that," or is the usage of "which" acceptable?
     
  5. catcher in the rye Banned

    USA English
    I've noticed the exact same thing when typing papers in Microsoft Word. The small green line under that area really annoys me.
     
  6. gliamo Senior Member

    Ireland
    France, French
    It seems to be a matter of personal taste most of the time. I would use which instead of that.

    G.
     
  7. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English

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