【英语·语法】That vs Which

florajang (小草庙庙) 正式会员
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发表于:2015-05-07 10:51 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

To understand when to use that vs. which, it’s important to keep in mind the difference between and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. In formal American English, that is used in restrictive clauses, and which in used in nonrestrictive clauses.

明白什么时候用that,什么时候用which,就必须知道限定性从句和非限定性从句的区别。在正式的美语中,that用在限定性从句中,而which则用在非现在定性从句里。

A restrictive clause contains information that limits the meaning of the thing being talked about. For example, in the sentence “Any book that you like must be good,” the relative clause “that you like” is restrictive because it identifies specifically a book that you like. Note that in restrictive clauses, sometimes that can be omitted. “Any book you like must be good” is also often used, especially in informal settings.

限定性从句包含能够限制所谈论事物意义的信息。比如:“Any book that you like must be good." 关系从句“that you like”就是限定性的,因为它指出那本书是你所喜欢的。 注意在限定性从句中,有时that 可以省略。在非正式场景里,也常会用“Any book you like must be good。”

A nonrestrictive clause, on the other hand, is used to supply additional information that is not essential to understanding the main point of the sentence. Consider the example “The book, which I found at a dusty used bookstore, was a real page-turner.” The relative clause “which I found at a dusty used bookstore” is nonrestrictive because it adds extra information, almost like an aside. You could delete the details about the bookstore, and the sentence would still make sense. In this example, which is preceded by a comma; nonrestrictive clauses tend to follow punctuation like a comma, a dash, or parenthesis. Which is only used in restrictive clauses if it’s preceded by a preposition.

相反,非限定性从句是用来提供额外的信息,对整个语句的理解没有很大的影响。比如:“The book, which I found at a dusty used bookstore, was a real page-turner.” 如果去掉中间的which引导的非限定性从句,剩下的还是一个完整的有意义的句子。在这句话中,which前用逗号隔开,非限定性从句通常都会有逗号、破折号或者括号。如果有前置的介词,which只能用于

Luckily there’s an easy way to remember whether to use that or which. If the relative clause contains information that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence, and is also preceded by a comma, a dash, or parenthesis, it’s probably nonrestrictive, so use which. If not, odds are it’s restrictive, so use that.


However, the above distinction is a rule of formal American English, and is not strictly observed in British English or in informal English of any type.


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