Using Which and That

What is the purpose of which and that?

Which and that are words that help introduce new or additional information in sentences.

Which is used…

  • To add non‐essential information.
  • This means that the information can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
  • These clauses are also known as non-restrictive clauses.
  • Which clauses are enclosed by commas think about them as “handlebars,” which the reader can use to pull the information out of the sentence.
Which looks like…
  • Daytona Beach, which is a favorite spring break destination for college students, has cracked down on underage drinking.

That is used…

  • To add essential information, meaning that the added information is necessary in order for the reader to understand the sentence.
  • These clauses are also known as restrictive clauses.
    • In this case, do not enclose the clause in commas.
That looks like…
  • Chairs, that don’t have cushions, are uncomfortable.
  • Chairs that don’t have cushions are uncomfortable.




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