Writing for Business

Sep 24 2008   12:38PM GMT

Quiz: Writing for business — which / that

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

servers.jpg Which is correct?

The latest version of the server has a hypervisor _________ is embedded within the core system firmware.
a. which
b. that

Answer: b

This is a tricky one because you have to look at the meaning of the sentence.  In the sentence above, the fact that the hypervisor is embedded in the firmware is essential information.  Use that.

In a statement, that introduces essential information in what is called a restrictive clause. Which introduces extra information in what’s called a nonrestrictive clause.

Here’s an example of how choosing which or that can change the meaning of the sentence.

  • The computers are new.
  • The computers, which have 2 gigs of RAM, are new. (you are providing extra information about the new computers)
  • The computers that have 2 gigs of RAM are new. (you are saying that only the computers with 2 gigs of RAM are new — the others are old)

Need an easy way to remember? Use which if you’re providing nonessential information.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Met
    I believe "lastest" should have been "latest" here! ________ Thank you! We've corrected our typo.
    0 pointsBadges:
  • AnGabriela
    This is the best explanation of this rule I've ever seen. Thanks!
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