General Writing and Grammar Help/that OR which

Advertisement


Question
Hello
Hope you are fine.

Which one is correct? Please explain your reasons.

A) Peter, I apologize for not replying to your email sooner. I am busy as I am preparing a lecture THAT I have to give shortly at my University.

B) Peter, I apologize for not replying to your email sooner. I am busy as I am preparing a lecture, WHICH I have to give shortly at my University.

I think B) is correct because we are giving additional information.

Thank you
Hame

Answer
Hame, the answer does not depend on additional information but on whether the subordinate clause is restrictive or descriptive. In this case B is correct, because the clause introduced by "which" is descriptive--that is, it does not distinguish between this lecture and other lectures. An example of the correct use of "that" might be "I can't give both lectures because I'm already committed to the lecture in the same time slot that we discussed last week."

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Richard Johnson

Expertise

I can answer any question--usually the same day--on correct English grammar, usage, and (non-fiction) writing style, based on the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.

Experience

I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Publications
For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as NotBarter.com.

Education/Credentials
BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.