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What should be the answer to the below question? And please explain the reason for the answer as well.

According to me, in place of 'that', 'who' should be there, making the answer option B.

Q. She is the same girl that complained about the food in the mess.

a. She is the same girl
b. that complained about
c. the food in the mess
d. no error

  • I'd also change "that" to "who" (explanation: a person's relative pronoun is "who"). But you hear sentences like this from native speakers every day, so it depends on how rigid they're being. – Luke Sawczak Nov 19 '17 at 12:29
  • You might use IMO (in my opinion) or AFAIK (as far as I know). Have never seen a/c either. – user3169 Nov 19 '17 at 21:00
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    I concur re: the a/c. Drop it, and write the whole sentence out. You are asking a question, and presumably you want answers. Even though I understand and use IMO and AFAIK, etc. I think clarity of communication is preeminent when asking a question, and urban language abbreviations do not fill the bill. – Corvus B Dec 6 '17 at 5:29
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You are correct. The corrected sentence should be

She is the same girl who complained about the food in the mess.

Using "that" instead of "who" in this context is an extremely common error in English. So common that very few people will notice it, either in written or spoken English. However, questions testing whether you know this show up frequently on standardized tests like the SAT and GMAT. A very educated person will always use "who" in this context, certainly when writing.

Don't ask me which one I use most often or you won't respect my education. ;)

BTW, best not to use "a/c" for "according." It either means "air conditioning" or "alternating current." Outside of these contexts it will only cause confusion.

  • @Famsy: Do you mean that the error relates to formality and informality? – Mido Mido Dec 6 '17 at 9:24
  • Not necessarily. It's just an error. But saying it the wrong way is probably more common than saying it correctly. – farnsy Dec 6 '17 at 14:34

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