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Some Rules for Relative Clauses in English Grammar

Use that or which

Sometimes we must use THAT and sometimes we must use WHICH. In defining and non-defining we generally use who for people and which for things. In both types you can use WHOSE and WHERE. Here are two rules: One tells us when we can't use WHICH the other tells us when we can't use THAT

Use of 'of' after some words

After numbers and words like many, most, neither, and some, we use of before whom and which in non-defining relative clauses.


  1. Many of those people, most of whom enjoyed their experience, spent at least a year abroad.
  2. Dozens of people had been invited, most of whom I knew.

The Rules listed

  1. 'Which' or 'that' In non defining clauses use ",which ..." with punctuation. Don't use ",THAT.."
    Although "which" is generally allowed in defining clauses use that after certain quantity words
    When using the relative pronoun to refer to the object, 'that' can be omitted.
  2. Defining clauses with 'which'
    'Which' is allowed for some defining clauses but if you always use 'that' in defining clauses you will be correct.
  3. With quantifiers you can't use 'which' because they form a phrase with 'that' and don't work well with 'which'. Always use ",THAT .." after these words


  1. It was everything (that) he had ever wanted.
  2. They lost all the things (that) they ever had.

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