Similar to my last grammar post on ‘and’ versus ‘to’, I see mixed use with ‘who’ versus ‘that’ quite often.
Usage between these two words is more personal preference than a grammar rule, as ‘that’ has been used for years and using ‘who’ is a more modern choice.
For me, I choose to use ‘who’ when referring to a person or specific people and ‘that’ when referring to a group or class of people, animals, objects, or a combination of people and things.
- Sue is a nurse who/that enjoys the late shift.
- The cat is the type who/that shreds toilet paper.
- The puppy who/that chewed my shoe is in big trouble.
- The people who/that met last night had coffee this morning.
- The cabin who/that my father built is still standing.
- It is either Mary or her magic hat who/that is to blame.
- Todd is the man who/that lives next…
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