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From a band score 9 (the highest) IELTS essay:

'In conclusion, free university education is a must for any country that values equal rights and one that wishes to advance. The cost of free educ...'

Here 'one' refers to students I'm sure as the essay starts:

'(...) University education should be free as it will greatly benefit both individuals and society'.

So why is 'that' used for humans instead of 'who'?

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    Why do you think "one" refers to students? The sentence talks about any country and does not mention students. (I also think it is a badly written sentence.)
    – stangdon
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 15:41
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    one refers to any country. But I agree with @stangdon it's poor quality writing. The words one that should simply be removed. Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 17:11
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    As well as the other points made, that is not a relative pronoun. Ever. It is a subordinator, and can often be used instead of a relative pronoun (whether that is who, or what,)
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 17:38
  • In anything like '… country that values equal rights and one that wishes to advance…' the only thing to which 'one' might refer would be the country; never any students. Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 1:44

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'One' isn't only an impersonal pronoun - in fact, it is increasingly rare to use it as such, and is considered to be extremely formal.

'One' can also be a determiner, and in your example refers back to the previously mentioned 'any country', so it means any one of the possible countries in the scope of the statement.

So the sentence is fine as it is - but the word 'one' is something of a redundancy, and you could just write:

free university education is a must for any country that values equal rights and that wishes to advance.

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  • Actually, "one" is a common noun here, whose function is that of head of the NP "one that wishes to advance".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 9:51

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