Who/that

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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Rustamsher
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Who/that

Postby Rustamsher » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:58 pm

Murod is looking for a roommate who has a great sense of responsibility.

My English teacher explained the sentence above as follows:

Of course, "who" is correct in your sentence.

But some people say:

a. If you use "who," the sentence could be interpreted as referring to a specific person whom Murod already knows.

b. In your sentence, Murod is simply looking for a KIND / TYPE of roommate. So some people actually think that using "that" instead of "who" would be better.
............................................................................................................................

Is he right about is? We are taught that both who and that are used for people but there is stylistical difference.

(a) Murod is looking for a roommate who has a great sense of responsibility. (usual/natural and more formal)
(b) Murod is looking for a roommate that has a great sense of responsibility. (more informal/colloquial) Am I right?

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Alan
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Re: Who/that

Postby Alan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:22 am

Both sentences are acceptable and identical in meaning.

Common sense would tend to rule out the rather absurd definite interpretation of 'a room-mate'.


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