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That versus What


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That versus What #1 (permalink) Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:17 am   That versus What
 

Test No. incompl/elem-9 "Relative Pronouns", question 2

I don't understand a word ......... you are talking about.

(a) what
(b) that
(c) who

Test No. incompl/elem-9 "Relative Pronouns", answer 2

I don't understand a word that you are talking about.

Correct answer: (b) that

Your answer was: incorrect
I don't understand a word what you are talking about.
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why is that instead of what in this case?

noelia
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What/that #2 (permalink) Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:41 am   What/that
 

In this sentence you need the relative pronoun that because what really means that which. So you have two sentences:

I don't understand a word that you are saying.
I don't understand what (that which) you are saying.
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That versus What #3 (permalink) Fri Sep 26, 2008 16:50 pm   That versus What
 

hi,
so, is it correct to say:
The book that I am talking about has red covers.
What I said yersterday had no interest for anyone.
?
thaks
Melyeu
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That versus What #4 (permalink) Thu Oct 16, 2008 13:14 pm   That versus What
 

hello my name is chanra .i seem not clearly how to use the relative pronoun.can you give example and explain about it?
thank you.
Chanra
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What/that #5 (permalink) Fri Feb 20, 2009 13:10 pm   What/that
 

Alan wrote:
In this sentence you need the relative pronoun that because what really means that which. So you have two sentences:

I don't understand a word that you are saying.
I don't understand what (that which) you are saying.

Hi Mr. Alan
you are absolutely right about thses sentences but the sentence in the question is

I don't understand a word ......... you are talking about.

If I am not wrong I have seen many time that if a sentence is reffering "talking about" so we should use "what you are talking about" instead of "that you are talking about"

please explain
Misskhan
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That versus What #6 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 14:53 pm   That versus What
 

Would you like to explain why I have to use the word that and not what?
Marianne M.
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That versus What #7 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:42 am   That versus What
 

Hi,

We have to make a distinction here between 'that' (relative pronoun) as it refers back or relates to a preceding noun as in: I don't know the word that you have used and 'what' meaning 'that which/those which' introducing another sentence (an indefinite noun clause): I don't know what (that which) you are talking about. 'What' is not used as a relative pronoun except in what would be called 'non-standard' speech -The man what knocked on the door was poor.

Look at these two sentences:

Listen carefully to the words that I am using.

Listen carefully to what I am saying.

Alan
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That versus What #8 (permalink) Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:52 am   That versus What
 

daer sir,

why "that" and why not "what "

nice rose
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That versus What #9 (permalink) Sat Apr 25, 2009 23:39 pm   That versus What
 

thank you! you help me much.
Maple_Leaf
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That versus What #10 (permalink) Tue May 05, 2009 20:18 pm   That versus What
 

Ahh.. I see..
Thanks much Alan!
I was a bit confused for a while. I was thinking of the informal way of saying that sentence.
Grammar has never been my forte!!
Pau_v
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That versus What #11 (permalink) Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:59 am   That versus What
 

wow great explanation :)
Vika7
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That versus What #12 (permalink) Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:27 am   That versus What
 

I do not understand yet, why "that" and why not "waht"
arigirl
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What/that #13 (permalink) Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:46 pm   What/that
 

Misskhan wrote:
Alan wrote:
In this sentence you need the relative pronoun that because what really means that which. So you have two sentences:

I don't understand a word that you are saying.
I don't understand what (that which) you are saying.

Hi Mr. Alan
you are absolutely right about thses sentences but the sentence in the question is

I don't understand a word ......... you are talking about.

If I am not wrong I have seen many time that if a sentence is reffering "talking about" so we should use "what you are talking about" instead of "that you are talking about"

please explain

thanks alen now i am very clear about "what and that"
Hariskilari
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Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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That versus What #14 (permalink) Thu Jan 14, 2010 22:44 pm   That versus What
 

Many thanks for you M. Alan.
I appreciate your effort a lot.
yours sincerely.
Mouhannad
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Joined: 07 Jan 2010
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That versus What #15 (permalink) Wed Feb 24, 2010 15:51 pm   That versus What
 

Hello

I've read all the comments but I still have some vagueness...

Can anybody, please, explain to me the difference in the meanings of the following sentences:

I don't understand what you are talking about.
I don't understand a word that you are talking about.
I don't understand a word what you are talking about (Incorrect?)
I don't understand a word of what you are talking about (Correct?)

tnx
Vadim Zhmykov
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Joined: 24 Feb 2010
Posts: 8

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