"The children who/that I saw"

It must be:

  • that

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • who

    Votes: 4 44.4%

  • Total voters
    9

deslenguada

Senior Member
Castellano
Hello people! the other day I took an exam and this question was in it,

"The children who/that I saw"


it was multiple choice test, so I could have chosen from other two options, but the only possible ones were these two.
I really doubt about the answer, I think commonly speaking both can work but there must be a grammatically proper one.

Thanks for your help :)

Pd: although I couldn't choose from the answers "whom", could it work? I think it could, if so, what answer would be the best?
 
  • deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Ok I have a problem cause some people say it must be "that", otherS say it is "who" and others just say "both work" (I've been asking natives around) :(
     

    Lee Sing

    Senior Member
    English from England
    From a strictly grammatical point of view, as 'the children' are the object of the sub clause, the correct pronoun is 'whom', although 'that' is also acceptable.

    In spoken English, many would say 'who' is acceptable. I would call it lazy English.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Yeah I know but there was only a right/correct or possible answer that marks

    If this is a question you're being forced to answer "correctly" on a test, it's a poorly-written test. I voted for that because who, although okay, is not really correct according to strict grammar-- whom is, and it's not mentioned in the question!

    The student has to be strict and clear, but the question can be loose, incomplete and confusing. And they leave the n off of children.
    .
    .
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    If this is a question you're being forced to answer "correctly" on a test, it's a poorly-written test. I voted for that because who, although okay, is not really correct according to strict grammar-- whom is, and it's not mentioned in the question!

    The student has to be strict and clear, but the question can be loose, incomplete and confusing. And they leave the n off of children.
    .
    .


    The missing "n" was just typo of mine.. sorry. (that's why you said it was a poorly-written test?)

    Yes I was forced to choose only one (the correct/right/proper one) from the four answers available. (who/that/which and something else I don't rememeber)

    So "who" could be okay in a chat-talk etc but it isn't correct according to the grammar ;) thanks!

    And between "whom" and "that", is one of them more appropiate than the other?

    THANKS A LOT :)
     

    Lee Sing

    Senior Member
    English from England
    The children whom I saw = OK
    The children that I saw = OK
    The children I saw = OK
    The children who I saw = Not OK, except in spoken English, and even then it is poor grammar.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    "The children that I saw" must be used because that is part of a defining relative clause.
    In the preceding example, that acts as the subject of the verb... [saw]. When it acts as the object of a verb or preposition, the relative pronoun that can usually be omitted... it is important to note that when used as a relative pronoun, which can refer only to things. e.g. The suitcase which we purchased last week is very strong.
     
    Having read all the posts in this thread, The children who I saw indeed starts to sound a bit weird. I, however, simply implied the rule that I learnt. The rules says that the relative pronouns for people are that and who; except the latter is preferred.

    Could you proffer some grammatical explanation why who does not really suit here, please? Thank you.

    EDIT: I didn't see your post, french4beth, when I started writing mine. Thank you.

    Love to learn new stuff :D
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    It seems to me that the teacher who set the test considered that the use of 'whom' is now outdated, as many people think (including me), and gave the option 'who', which was the correct answer..
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Having read all the posts in this thread, The children who I saw indeed starts to sound a bit weird. I, however, simply implied the rule that I learnt. The rules says that the relative pronouns for people are that and who; except the latter is preferred.

    Could you proffer some grammatical explanation why who does not really suit here, please? Thank you.

    EDIT: I didn't see your post, french4beth, when I started writing mine. Thank you.

    Love to learn new stuff :D

    It can be a precarious explanation from me but maybe it will work...
    I think if you use "who" in this case then you nee to add "to"
    that would be "the children who I saw to" ---> and this one really sounds strange.

    Other thing would be if they (the children) performed the action, then it could be "who" , what do the natives say about this last "statement" of mine? (just to make sure) Thanks.
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Porteño I think this is not the case since "that" is a right answer too whether "whom" might be considered preferable by some.

    Since "that" is acceptable to say the least, then either it is a poorly prepared test or the teacher is in favour of using "whom" instead of "who" and consideres the latter wrong :) .
     

    deslenguada

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    It seems to me that the teacher who set the test considered that the use of 'whom' is now outdated, as many people think (including me), and gave the option 'who', which was the correct answer..

    I think my teachers haven't taught to use "whom" to my classmates, besides they are Spanish natives and their command of English is not as good as yours ;) (I've heard them say so many mistakes!)
     

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    I'd like to change my answer.... I agree with those in this thread that are saying "that". However, I often say "who". I didn't realize I was being sloppy, until now. :rolleyes:
     
    Top