4

It was that which made him decide to resign that summer,when he was sixty five.

I could not understand why the writer used both relative pronouns (that,which) together?

  • 2
    But "that" is not a relative pronoun. It is a pro-form here referring to something previously mentioned. The only relative pronoun is "which", which is anaphoric to the pro-form "that", the antecedent. – BillJ Apr 2 '17 at 6:51
  • 1
    Giving context and giving sources helps getting answers. Your sentence is from Good-bye, Mr. Chips. – Laure Apr 2 '17 at 6:57
6

That is not a relative pronoun in this sentence, it is a demonstrative pronoun. It refers to a fact that has just been stated. Let's look at the preceding sentence:

In 1913 Chips had had bronchitis and was off duty for nearly the whole of the winter term. It was that which made him decide to resign that summer, when he was sixty-five.

"That" replaces the whole preceding sentence.

You could rephrase the sentence as:

The fact that he had had bronchitis in 1913 and was off duty for nearly the whole of the winter term made Chips decide to resign that summer.

Which is the only relative pronoun in the sentence you quoted and it refers to that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.