те, кто vs те, которые

Lorenc

Senior Member
Italian
I found the following phrase in a short story for Russian learners (Рассказ-сенсация by Игнатий Дьяков):
Одни ходят туда утром, другие — вечером. Есть даже те, кто ходит в спортзал днём, в обед.
My question is about 'те, кто'. Is is possible to use instead 'те, которые' and, if so, is there any difference between the two constructions.
I find the 'те, кто' a little surprising because it switches number from plural to singular in mid-air.
 
  • GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Те, которые звучит здесь неуклюже. Видимо, потому, что те - местоимение:
    :tick: Те, кто ходит...
    :tick: Люди, которые ходят...
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    1. Semantically, "те, кто" (in exactly that form) may be used simply in the meaning "all the people who...". That's not the case for "те, которые" - it's rather "those particular ones who". "Те, которые" never starts a discourse; usually it's used when we have been talking about N, implying a deletion in "те N, которые". On the other hand, "те, кто" is absolutely self-sufficient. Since your example discusses people in general, "те, кто" becomes especially preferable.

    2. There is some syntactical difference between "те, которые" and "те, кто/что".

    If the relative clause directly follows "те" (i.e. if it's directly connected to it), "те, кто/что" is generally preferable (except, maybe, in the most formal registers of the language). However, if some overt noun phrase is specified by "те" (which means the direct connection between "те" and the relative pronoun is lost), the acceptability of "кто/что" markedly drops, especially in the case of prolonged noun phrases. Let's say we are talking about some apples.
    Те, которые мы положили на стол, красные. :tick:
    Те, что мы положили на стол, красные. :tick:
    Те большие яблоки, которые мы положили на стол, красные.:tick:
    Те большие яблоки, что мы положили на стол, красные. :confused:

    A small statistical illustration: "тот, который" (I limited the case of "тот" to nominative or accusative, just in case) has 18 924 entries in the corpus; "тот, кто" - 57 662; "тот, что" - 369 129. However, while "тот adj noun, который" provides 13 672 entries, "тот adj noun, кто" gives only 94. "Тот adj noun, что" has 2430 corresponding entries, but only because it's technically impossible to filter out conjunctions and non-relative pronouns. If we remove the adjective, leaving only a bare noun, we get less pronounced results, but the general situation remains (40 719 for "который" vs. 699 for "кто").

    Also there are certain hard limits regarding syntactical role of the relative pronouns. First, the relative "что" may take only the nominative or the accusative case (i.e. its only possible form is "что"). E.g.:
    Те, кому посчастливилось побывать на фестивале, помнят, ка́к там было весело. (Ok.)
    Те студенты, кому посчастливилось побывать на фестивале, помнят, ка́к там было весело. (That will do.)
    Тот стол, который мы поставили в ванной, уже старый. (Ok.)
    Тот стол, что мы поставили в ванной, уже старый. (Will do, although mostly for colloquial speech; in the literature such usage is archaic, may be even elevated.)
    Это тот стол, к которому мы привыкли. (Ok.)
    Это тот стол, к чему мы привыкли. :cross: (Entirely ungrammatical.)
    That shouldn't be confused with non-relative usages of "что", e.g.:
    "К вечеру мы прибыли в Москву, чему я был очень рад." (~"Я был очень рад тому, что к вечеру мы прибыли в Москву.")

    There are also some limitations on syntactical constructions where "кто" may appear. Genitive constructions in the relative clause may only use "который", but not "кто". E.g.:
    Те дети, родители которых неизвестны, имеют право на социальную пенсию. (Ok.)
    Те дети, родители кого неизвестны, имеют право на социальную пенсию. :cross:(Extremely low acceptability.)
    That looks like the case of general limitations on pronouns in genitive constructions; even though, unlike the personal pronouns, "кто" isn't fundamentally impossible to use in such constructions, that never occurs with "кто" in the relative meaning (cf. interrogative "Родители кого из этих детей неизвестны?"). A natural workaround is to use possessive "чей".
    Те дети, чьи родители неизвестны, имеют право на социальную пенсию. (Ok.)
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Both sentences with "что" sound unnatural and pretentious to me
    They surely would sound like that without "те". "Тот (...), что..." certainly exists (and is pretty popular) in colloquial language as a relative construction (you can just search "тот, что мы" or similar combinations in Google). Trouble is, with an overt noun it isn't quite stylistically neutral either.
     
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    Eirwyn

    Member
    Russian
    I don't doubt there are people who find these constructions normal. What I'm trying to say is that your perception of them is not universal. For alexzzzz "что" is equally acceptable in both sentences, and for me "который" is the only stylistically neutral option here.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What I'm trying to say is that your perception of them is not universal.
    Well, it's certainly mainstream.
    I want to point out that "тот (NP), что" and "NP, что" are two different relativizing constructions and to most speakers their perception doesn't even usually interfere a lot (though, in principle, the first MAY also be a particular case of the second). The first one without an overt NP is really common both in modern literature and in speech (which is very easy to demonstrate), and with an overt NP it's still widely used in colloquial speech (up to the extent when native speakers like alexzzzz don't percieve any difference, despite "тот NP, что" being clearly marginal in literature). Without a demonstrative, on the other hand, "NP, что" is indeed archaic or elevated (potentially also dialectal).
     
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    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    As long as we keep saying "то, что ты хотел купить...", "та/тот/те, что ты хотел купить..." will remain in active use. Adding an NP after "то/та/тот/те" would be only natural, as well as... :rolleyes: deleting "та/тот/те" after that.

    But what results isn't stylistically neutral (it's either poetic or extremely colloquial - to the extent of being uneducated, especially in the case an animate object is being modified by a clause with "что"):
    Молоток, что на полке, не трожь. (for brevity of speech; extremely colloquial and informal)

    Plus, unlike "который", "что" always implies "(именно) то/та/тот/те" (i.e. "что" can't introduce non-restrictive clauses):
    (Тот) парень, который приходил к тебе, тоже студент? = :tick::warning: (Тот) парень, что приходил к тебе, тоже студент?
    Современный персональный компьютер, который сегодня имеется почти у каждого, используется большинством людей довольно однотипным образом. = :cross: Современный персональный компьютер, что сегодня имеется почти у каждого, используется большинством людей довольно однотипным образом.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Google ("тот дом который")
    Google ("тот дом что")

    Google ("тот который")
    Google ("тот что")

    I don't see any difference. In both cases the option with "что" is just slightly less popular.
    Google is just becoming a very poor statistical tool. The corpus alone contains 1844 different entries for "тот, который", and Google only 185? Come on, it cannot be right.
    "что" can't introduce non-restrictive clauses
    Thanks for pointing that out.
    Still, your examples made me think about actual distribution of "что" and "кто" as relativizing pronouns.
    As long as we keep saying "то, что ты хотел купить...", "та/тот/те, что ты хотел купить..." will remain in active use.
    But there is no apparent syntactical difference between these examples at all.
     
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