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Using 'what' instead of 'that'

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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Using 'what' instead of 'that'

Postby jesssiobhan » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:08 am


I am at the beginning of my teacher training and doing a case study on a Hungarian learner of English.

I have noticed that she often uses the word 'what' where 'that' would be more appropriate. For example 'the things what I want', 'nothing what we could follow'.

Does anybody know why she would make this mistake? What is what / that used for in these sentences? I'm not sure what type of word it actually is. And also ways that I could help her correct this?

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Re: Using 'what' instead of 'that'

Postby Alan » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:53 am

I am not a Hungarian speaker, but would imagine the only likely reason for the error to be that, in her own language, the equivalent word would serve as a relative pronoun.

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