Which Vs. That: Differences and Usage

Which Vs. That: Differences and Usage


There are many people out there with the idea – ‘WHICH‘ and ‘THAT‘ are interchangeable.
Well, almost all of us think so.
But, I would like to burst that bubble and say that THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE.

Not that all of us use these two words incorrectly, but you cannot deny the fact that this is one of the biggest confusion of all times.

हम सभी ने कभी न कभी इस confusion का सामना किया होगा जहाँ यह decide करना थोड़ा मुश्किल हो जाता है कि sentence में which का प्रयोग करना है या that का।
जब भी हम बात करते हैं confusions को दूर करने की, तब हम सभी खोजते हैं कुछ ऐसी trick या simple rule जिसे याद रखना व सही समय पर इस्तेमाल करना हमारे लिए आसान हो।

Today we’ll try to learn the difference between which and that, and their correct usage in sentences.

अगर सबसे आसान शब्दों में कहा जाए तो which का प्रयोग वाक्य में extra information जोड़ने के लिए किया जाता है और that का प्रयोग को वाक्य में essential information जोड़ने के लिए किया जाता है।

Now, let’s get into the basics to get a clear idea with the help of some examples.


As we all know, sentences are made up of clauses.

A restrictive clause is the one that has some important information that you just can’t afford to omit it from your sentence, and if you do, you would be altering the actual meaning of the sentence.
Restrictive clause आम तौर पर वाक्य के पहले भाग के बारे में एक ऐसी जानकारी प्रदान करता है जिसके बिना आपका वाक्य अधूरा या अर्थहीन प्रतीत होगा।
that-min Consider this example:

• I lost the necklace that I borrowed from you.
• मैंने उस हार को खो दिया जिसे मैंने आपसे उधार लिया था।

यह वाक्य पढ़ कर लगता है कि speaker के पास कम से कम एक से ज़्यादा necklace है और इस sentence में उस necklace की बात हो रही जो उधार लिया गया था।

So that’s what restrictive clauses do, they give you essential information, probably about the thing mentioned in the first part of the sentence.

On the other hand, a non-restrictive clause gives you the extra information and can be taken out of the sentence at any time, without even disturbing the meaning and the structure of the sentence.

• My car, which has a broken handle, is in the garage.
• मेरी कार, जिसमे एक टूटा हैंडल है, गैरेज में है।

इस वाक्य में which का प्रयोग किया गया है जिसका अर्थ यह है कि speaker के पास केवल एक car है जो कि garage में है।
A broken handle is just some extra information about that car.
It doesn’t imply that the speaker has more than one car.

Try this sentence without the clause that is between the commas.
• My car, which has a broken handle, is in the garage.

• My car is in the garage.
• मेरी कार गैरेज में है।

See, no effect on the main and important message of the sentence, even though we removed some part of it.

That’s how non-restrictive clauses work. You can just throw them out like waste trash and it won’t make much of a difference.

The thumb rule is:

Restrictive clause = essential information =  THAT 
Non- restrictive clause = extra information =  WHICH

Furthermore, which और that का प्रयोग एक ही sentence में करने से उसका पूरा अर्थ बदल सकता है।

For example, 

• Drugs that are dangerous for the health should be banned.
Meaning: All drugs are dangerous for health and should be banned ( सभी drugs सेहत के लिए खतरनाक होते हैं और उन्हें प्रतिबंधित किया जाना चाहिए )

• Drugs, which are dangerous for the health, should be banned.
: Not all drugs are harmful and only those should be banned that are harmful ( सभी drugs हानिकारक नहीं हैं और केवल उन पर प्रतिबंध लगा देना चाहिए जो हानिकारक हैं )

इसलिए, यदि आप which और that का प्रयोग एक ही वाक्य में interchangeably करेंगे तो यह confusion create कर सकता है क्योंकि ऐसा करने से पुरे वाक्य का अर्थ बदल सकता है।

Another remarkable difference that you should take care of, especially while writing, is the use of punctuation mark comma.

Which के प्रयोग से पहले हमेशा comma लगाया जाता है जबकि that का प्रयोग continuity में यानी comma लगाए बिना किया जाता है।

The presence of comma tells you that this part of the sentence is just an extra information and won’t affect the meaning if taken out of the sentence.

Although WHICH and THAT are quite common words, it’s important that you learn their correct usage or else you’ll always struggle with the confusion.

Read our other blogs ‘Although Vs. Though‘  ‘Anyway Vs. Any Way: Differences and Usage‘ and learn to avoid common mistakes.

बेहतर English सीखने के लिए download करें हमारी apps HinKhoj और Namaste English



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