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Friday, August 1, 2008

Criminal Sentence 68: "That" or "Who"?

From an article about the movie "The Dark Knight":

"[The movie] explores the community that cheers for the hero that operates outside or above the law."

The second "that" is incorrect, since "hero" is a person and you refer to people as "who":

"the hero who..."

3 comments:

Mahashakti Dasi said...

I really appreciate your blog.

Anonymous said...

General remarks: That, Who, Which compared
The relative pronoun that can only be used in defining clauses. It can also be substituted for who (referring to persons) or which (referring to things). That is often used in speech; who and which are more common in written English

The Sentence Sleuth said...

You're right that you can substitute "that" for "who," but I still like to use "who" to refer to people.
Do you like to use "that" instead of "who" sometimes? I won't kill you if you do.