"Lips that touch mine" vs "Lips touch mine"

The first one is a book title. I'm wondering what's the differences between the 2 sentences. 'that' seems to me that it emphasizes the word 'touch'. Is that true? Are there any other differences in meaning? Would it be the same if there wasn't 'mine'?

Many thanks

  • You need to provide full sentences. This could be poetic license or it could be a different meaning, I can't tell from the few words you have posted.
    – farnsy
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 15:57
  • @farnsy - it's really book title. goodreads.com/book/show/18633226-lips-that-touch-mine. Thank you
    – B J
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


The key thing to keep in mind is that lips touch makes "lips" the subject and "touch" the verb. On the other hand, lips that touch is a noun phrase. that touch acts as an adjective in this case.

Lips that touch mine

is short for

The lips that touch my lips

It is a noun phrase and not a sentence. On the other hand,

Lips touch mine

as it stands is a sentence that informs the reader that lips, in general, touch yours. It's not really interchangeable with the noun phrase above. You could make it specifically refer to some lips that were previously discussed

The lips touch mine

but this is still a sentence.

Your last question seems to ask if

Lips touch

Has the same meaning. This is another sentence that just indicates that touching is something lips do.

  • Thank you. Taking out grammatical terms like sentence vs noun phrase, what's the difference please. I understand what you write but I'm not clear about differences beyond grammatical terms.
    – B J
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 6:10
  • 1
    "Lips that touch" are things. So you could say "Lips that touch are nice." On the other hand, "Lips touch" is a statement about what lips do. You can't say "Lips touch nice" because "lips touch" is not a thing. Hope that helps.
    – farnsy
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 22:18

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