I think many of my friends, like myself, like to link two or more sentences together with "which", which functions as a pronoun. I will call it the "which clause".  As a good rule of thumb, "which" in such situation refers to the noun immediately preceding it. Needless to say, there are exceptions. So one has to be careful when using such pronoun. Otherwise, it would cause confusion. I would like to cite the following example:

"A surveillance machine with a video camera caught the incident on a tape, which was turned over to the police."

The "which" in here is not clear as to which noun(s) it refers to. It could be:

  1. the surveillance machine 
  2. the video camera
  3. the tape
  4. the incident
  5. Any combination of the above

In order to be specific, I would write as follows:

  1. A surveillance........ tape, which machine (or camera, or tape, or incident) was turned over to the police. Or,
  2. A surveillance.........tape. The machine (or camera, or tape, or incident) was turned over to the police. Or,
  3. A surveillance.........tape, and the latter was turned over to the police (if only the tape was turned over).

Therefore, the use of the "which clause" is not as simple as it appears. If it is not used properly, it causes more confusion instead of simplifying things. 
5/5/2010 05:02:39 pm

I have read your blog about the "which claus "using .I admire you more and more ,You are the man.your description about that is very completely and deeply.thank you .

5/6/2010 02:25:39 pm

good,i've never thought about this problem,thanks.it helps a lot

5/9/2010 11:25:45 pm

I appreciate your sharing. It's very helpful in my writing.

5/30/2010 12:01:12 am

get it

12/1/2010 01:33:42 pm

Thanks for your information !

12/7/2010 10:55:06 am


6/14/2012 11:05:56 am

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