General Writing and Grammar Help/That or which

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Question
Dear Ted:

Should I use "that" or "which" in the following sentence?

This second edition comes with a CD-ROM WHICH / THAT offers practice exercises and games, audio of each word or phrase, tests and a phonemic chart for pronunciation support.

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Should I use "that" or "which" in the following sentence?

This second edition comes with a CD-ROM WHICH / THAT offers practice exercises and games, audio of each word or phrase, tests and a phonemic chart for pronunciation support.

*** I would definitely use THAT.  The adjective clause beginning with "that" is necessary to the full meaning of the sentence.  It is a "restrictive" element.  If you use "which," you are saying that the clause is unnecessary [non-restrictive] and merely provides extra information.  I think that the information in the clause helps distinguish what is special about this CD-ROM.
Therefore, the clause is necessary.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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