Which vs. that in writing

Something that I often confuse while writing is the correct usage of that and which, even though there are some simple rules to determine which of them is appropriate.

A relative clause starting with that cannot be removed without altering the meaning of a sentence (restrictive/defining clause). In contrast, the pronoun which conveys some additional information (nonrestrictive/non-defining clause).

As clauses starting with while are not mandatory, they are always enclosed with commas.


  • The bike that is broken is in the garage.
    There may be several bikes and only the broken one is in the garage.
  • The bike, which is broken, is in the garage.
    There is only one bike and this bike is broken.

See here for some more examples


  • [1] That vs. Which on dailywritingtips.com

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