In a description of a programmatic operator in TCL, I encountered a usage of "which" that I didn't know about before:

< > <= >= Boolean less, greater, less than or equal, and greater than or equal. Each operator produces 1 if the condition is true, 0 otherwise. These operators may be applied to strings as well as numeric operands, in which case string comparison is used.

I don't understand what kind of which this is. I don't think it is a pronoun as I used to know e.g. in This is the book which you loved to have.

  • The linked question seems to be the same as mine but the answer given is confusing to me. In short, I infer that this usage is correct and is called "relative determinant". Right? Oct 24, 2015 at 16:48
  • Close -- it's a determiner. Many determiners besides which can stand by themselves and act as nominals (think of such, many, most, all, for instance), and some of these are relatives: which, whichever, whatever. Oct 24, 2015 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


This is the book which you loved.

The word which is a relative pronoun used in the defining relative clause "which you loved". In informal English, you can replace it with "that" if you want to.

In the other sentence, "which" is a relative determiner, as commented by StoneyB. Please see his answer on "which as a relative determiner".

  • 1
    In the question OP asks about, with in which case, which is not a pronoun but a determiner. Oct 24, 2015 at 17:46
  • StoneyB, Thanks for enlightening me. I have edited my answer accordingly.
    – Khan
    Oct 24, 2015 at 17:57

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