WHICH, THAT, WHO, WHOM at the start of a clause.
Even native speakers are confused about this.
THAT helps to identify the thing we are talking about. If we omit the THAT clause, it destroys the meaning of the sentence.
Examples with THAT:
They captured the dog THAT we found chasing the chickens.
(Which dog? The one that was chasing the chickens)
The beach THAT I like best was very crowded, so we went to another one
. (Which beach? The one that I like best)
If we are talking about a person, it is better, but not essential, to use WHO or WHOM.
Examples with WHO and WHOM:
He likes the girl WHO sits in that corner of the coffee shop each day.
(Which girl? The one who sits...) (The girl is the subject of 'sits' so we use subjective WHO)
I want to contact the boy WHOM I met at the beach last year.
(Which boy? The one whom I met) (The boy is the object of 'met' so takes the objective WHOM)
WHICH gives additional information about the thing we are talking about. We put a comma before a WHICH clause to separate it from the rest of the sentence. If we omit the WHICH clause, it does not change the meaning of the sentence. It just reduces the amount of information.
Examples with WHICH:
On Saturday we went to see a movie, WHICH I thought was very good.
We went to the house, WHICH was newly painted, and had dinner with our friends.
(WHICH just gives more information. It does not help us to identify the movie or house.)
If we are talking about people, we always use WHO or WHOM instead, but with a comma.
Examples with subjective WHO:
My friend Roberto, WHO is a dentist, will meet me in Salvador.
I went to visit my grandmother, WHO always makes a cake for afternoon tea.
Examples with the objective WHOM:
I have made friends with Maria, WHOM I met in verdeamarelo.
Lucy received a reply from Pedro, WHOM she had invited for lunch.
WHOM or WHO
Many native speakers use WHO in the objective, instead of WHOM. They are not correct. Now you speak better English than they do!
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