Site Feedback
Important Notice: Feb 1st from 05:00 to 08:00 (UTC) , italki will be down for scheduled maintenance. If you have scheduled sessions during this time, read our Announcement

Resolved questions
Some questions about noun clauses

Actually no one has ever taught me this kind of grammar . I learnt it from books&conversations. Therefore, I got some questions that I want you guys to solve them.
1) Can the following sentences be exchanged? Tell me the reason, why or why not .
a. This is a dumb question that I don't wanna answer.
b. This is a dumb question which I don't wanna answer.
My opinion is that "that" can replace all the words that start with "wh". Is that correct?
2) what kind of tense I should use after that/wh-. Is there anything I must follow?
3) I know "the one" can be meant for everything. So which word should I use after " the one"? "that?who?which?" or it depends on the context?
Thank you guys so much!!
By the way, I found that teachers don't teach students grammar even in united states. They just give me lots of assignments and I have to learn it by myself.

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:


    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    I'll clarify a couple of things...

    1) NO. You cannot just swap "that" and "which" as you wish. This is where learners start making mistakes. This is how you decide:

    - does the clause describe the last thing you mentioned? Use that/which.
    - What if I remove the descriptive clause? If the meaning changes (or stops making sense), use "that". If you can cut out the clause and the sentence still makes sense, use "which".
    - never confuse a sentence that begins with "that" with a clause that begins with "that". If you're not sure, cut them into two sentences. Do they make sense? Then use two sentences.

    2) Eliot is right; give it the tense as normal. No special treatment here.

    3) Yes. it relies on the context. Is the thing human? Use "who".

    Quick correction: "They just gave me lots of assignments and I had to learn it by myself."

    You use 'that ' before a restrictive clause and 'which' before everything else.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.