I see “who,” “that,” and “which” used incorrectly pretty much every day, so I thought it was worth a blog post to clear up the confusion. Here we go:
Who refers to people:
That is used for animals and inanimate objects:
Which is used for animals and inanimate objects only when it appears at the beginning of a dependent clause (set off by commas), OR when you’ve already used that in the same sentence, OR if it’s preceded by a preposition.
I know it looks like a lot to swallow, but the rules are pretty straightforward if you stick to them. In a future post, I’ll address who vs. whom and whoever vs. whomever. I know those are also a mystery to many people.
Happy New Year!
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