pronoun (plural those /T͟Hōz/)
- 3 [often with clause] used in singling out someone or something and ascribing a distinctive feature to them:it is part of human nature to be attracted to that which is aesthetically pleasing his appearance was that of an undergrown man they care about the rights of those less privileged than themselves
determiner (plural those)
Old English thæt, nominative and accusative singular neuter of se 'the', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dat and German das
1 The word that can be omitted in standard English where it introduces a subordinate clause, as in she said (that) she was satisfied. That can also be dropped in a relative clause where it is the object of the clause, as in the book (that) I’ve just written. That, however, is obligatory when it is the subject of the relative clause, as in the company that employs Jack. 2 It is sometimes argued that, in relative clauses, that should be used for nonhuman references and who should be used for human references: a house that overlooks the park, but the woman who lives next door. In practice, while it is true to say that who is restricted to human references, the function of that is flexible. It has been used for both human and nonhuman references since at least the 11th century. In standard English, it is interchangeable with who in this context. 3 Is there any difference between the use of that and which in sentences such as any book that gets children reading is worth having, and any book which gets children reading is worth having? The general rule is that, in restrictive relative clauses, where the relative clause serves to define or restrict the reference to the particular one described, that is the preferred relative pronoun. However, in nonrestrictive relative clauses, where the relative clause serves only to give additional information, which must be used: this book, which is set in the last century, is very popular with teenagers, but not this book, that is set in the last century, is very popular with teenagers. For more details, see restrictive (usage).