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jump to last post 1-3 of 3 discussions (8 posts)

I Will Answer Your Grammar/Punctuation Question

  1. profile image0
    LisaKeatingposted 3 years ago

    I was inspired by WryLilt's offer to help everyone with improving their titles. I would be glad to do the same for grammar and punctuation questions. As a retired English teacher, I have the time and enjoy helping people who really want to learn. Just tag me if you have a question.

  2. Greekgeek profile image92
    Greekgeekposted 3 years ago

    Lisa, thanks very much for this offer!

    Please help me shake the rust off a four-letter word: that.

    1a) When do we start a dependent clause with that, and when do we use which?

    I read a book which had been written five hundred years ago.
    I read a book that had been written five hundred years ago.

    I know there's a rule for this, but I've forgotten it.

    1b) Is it ever permissible to drop "that" after a verb of thinking/saying/sensing?

    She realized she had left the kettle on.
    She realized that she had left the kettle on.

    1. janshares profile image96
      jansharesposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Great question, Greekgeek. I think I might use "that" too much. I once had a veteran hubber tell me to take some out of my hub when I was starting out. To my surprise, it did read much smoother. I'd appreciate learning the rule, too.

  3. profile image0
    LisaKeatingposted 3 years ago

    Greekgeek,
    Generally, you use "which" before a non-essential phrase and "that" in front of an essential phrase. In your example, I would use "that" because the reader needs to know the specific book you are referring to.

    I read a book that had been written five hundred years ago.

    The easiest way to figure it out is to look at the noun you are referring to. In this case it is "book." Since book is vague and not specific, the reader needs the rest of the sentence to understand your meaning.

    In this example, the subject is "The Tempest." The additional information is just extra and considered non-essential in identifying the subject. You usually put a comma before "which."

    I read "The Tempest," which had been written five hundred years ago.

    For your second question, you can leave out "that" if the sentence still flows. It is considered "understood" and makes your writing more concise.

    1. Greekgeek profile image92
      Greekgeekposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Lisa, thank you very much.

      Your explanation of that/which as essential vs. supplementary info is not something I've ever heard before, and that's going to help! Fascinating.

      (Sorry for asking and then disappearing. Thanks to hundreds of articles coming over, I suddenly have a great many squids to clean and cook.)

      1. profile image0
        LisaKeatingposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        You're welcome. Good luck with your new hubs!

    2. janshares profile image96
      jansharesposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Lisa. That was very helpful.

      1. profile image0
        LisaKeatingposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Glad to help any time.

 
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