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Sentences in question:

Our house, which has four bedrooms, is located in Ocean City.

Our house that has four bedrooms is located in Ocean City.

I don't understand or see the difference between the two sentences.

May I receive an explanation?

  • Option three: Our house which has four bedrooms is located in Ocean City. Not acceptable: *Our house, that has four bedrooms, is located in Ocean City. – snailcar Sep 14 '14 at 1:33
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In

Our house, which has four bedrooms, is located in Ocean City.

which has four bedrooms is just describing the type of house. I think commas are optional.

In

Our house that has four bedrooms is located in Ocean City.

seems to be a usage to differentiate it from your other houses. For example:

Our house that has four bedrooms is located in Ocean City, and our house that has six bedrooms is located in River City.

  • 2
    But the commas (or in speech, intonation) determine whether it's a restrictive or non-restrictive relative. So while "commas are optional" is true, it may be misleading without some elaboration. – snailcar Sep 14 '14 at 2:14
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As another user already said.. which is being used here to elaborate on the subject (the house).

However, as others have pointed out, the commas are key to understanding the context. If you put a comma and then the cluase

[...], that has four bathrooms [,]

You have a sentence that is identical in meaning to the one that is using which..

-- The sentence above is a perfect example, in itself, of how the absence of commas simply takes the that and uses it to describe and elaborate.

Our house, that we bought with blood money, just foreclosed.

Our house, which we bought with blood money, just foreclosed.

The two sentences are identical in meaning.

Our house that we bought with blood money just foreclosed.

This suggest there may be more than one house.... perhaps one with 6 bathrooms, or no bathrooms, and so on.

Then, you have sentences using that which in a compound form. Which is still elaborating on a subject, but the subject is that

My dog eats that which he craves.

But sentences like that sound very Shakespearean.

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