What's the difference between these two sentences? Can we use that as a relative pronouns in this sentence? As I know read in books that who is better than that but I am not sure how to use that to connect two sentences together?

This is the man who was chasing me last night.
This is the man that was chasing me last night.

  • 1
    @CopperKettle Yes, but we also use that :-)
    – user230
    Dec 19 '15 at 8:59
  • I think there is no issue in using "that" ! With persons we also use whose and whom! :D
    – Cardinal
    Dec 19 '15 at 9:12
  • But "that"can also be used indeed. Dec 19 '15 at 9:25

Both work, but that is informal.

When the relative clause is a defining one (the present case), you can use both. However if you have a non-defining relative clause, you can't use that. For instance,

This is the man, a robber, who was chasing me.
This is the man, a robber, that was chasing me.

  • 3
    Hmm ... your principle is right, but your second example may be acceptable: putting the appositive a robber in there makes it is ambiguous whether a restrictive (defining) or non-restrictive (non-defining) clause is to be understood. Dec 19 '15 at 12:37

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