KudoZ home » English » Law (general)

the meeting, which / the meeting that

English translation: which

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
11:10 Oct 23, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Law (general)
English term or phrase: the meeting, which / the meeting that
Could someone tell me which sentence is accurate:

...before or after the shareholder’s meeting, WHICH they did not attend.
Or
...before or after the shareholder’s meeting THAT they did not attend.
Or may we leave out 'which' or 'that' here?
I.e. would the following be correct:
...before or after the shareholder’s meeting they did not attend.


My concern lies with Fowler's distinction between the use of 'that' and 'which' as a relative conjunction introducing an identifying and a non-identifying clause (preceded by a comma) respectively?
It seems to me that 'that', and not 'which', is appropriate here.

Thanks for any suggestions, preferably backed-up by 'solid' evidence.
Evert DELOOF-SYS
Belgium
Local time: 10:47
English translation:which
Explanation:
I'm assuming that there is only one possible shareholders meeting which could be being referred to - "which they did not attend" is therefore not being used to define which meeting is being spoken of and it is correct to say "...the meeting, which they did not attend".

If on the other hand there were several meeetings and you need to define which one is meant, you would use that (and no comma).

To give further examples:

They did not know of the decision because it was taken at the special meeting, which they did not attend. (Only one special meeting).

They did not know of the decision because it was taken at the meeting that they did not attend. (Various meetings took place, of which one was "the meeting that they did not attend.)



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 37 mins (2005-10-23 11:48:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You can apply the dictum here which I think is Fowler's: "Use that to tell which and which to tell that".
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 09:47


Summary of answers provided
4 +2shareholders' meeting
Derek Gill Franßen
3 +3which
Armorel Young


  

Answers


30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
which


Explanation:
I'm assuming that there is only one possible shareholders meeting which could be being referred to - "which they did not attend" is therefore not being used to define which meeting is being spoken of and it is correct to say "...the meeting, which they did not attend".

If on the other hand there were several meeetings and you need to define which one is meant, you would use that (and no comma).

To give further examples:

They did not know of the decision because it was taken at the special meeting, which they did not attend. (Only one special meeting).

They did not know of the decision because it was taken at the meeting that they did not attend. (Various meetings took place, of which one was "the meeting that they did not attend.)



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 37 mins (2005-10-23 11:48:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You can apply the dictum here which I think is Fowler's: "Use that to tell which and which to tell that".

Armorel Young
Local time: 09:47
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: This is the accepted distinction. Just to confuse things, US users (and apparently UK users as well) very often use 'which' for both cases, willy-nilly, in ordinary language. And IMO the third option is equivalent to 'that they did not attend'.
1 hr

agree  Richard Benham: Actually, I think US grammarians make more of the alleged which/that distinction. To me, "that" often sounds clunky. Comma use is the important thing, and, when referring to persons, the only way to distinguish, as "who" is the only possible pronoun.
4 hrs

agree  Christine Andersen: and agree with Richard - 'that' sounds odd in my (slightly elderly) UK ears, but I'm not sure age matters here! Ignore the Microsoft spell checker - it oversimplifies the issue and gets it wrong in many cases.
19 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
shareholder's meeting
shareholders' meeting


Explanation:
I know that it wasn't asked, and I'm going to leave the substantiated explaining of "which" and "that" to my esteemed colleagues, but I think it should read "shareholders' meeting" unless there is only one shareholder (unlikely). The question isn't for points, so... ;-)

As far as the actual question goes, my FEELING is that there should be a comma after "meeting" in either case, i.e. in the constructions with "which" and "that" - both of which would be fine (to tell you the truth, I'd base my decision on feeling, which I think may take into account things like repetition, flow and the sounds of the sentence in my ear.

The third sentence would also work (IMHO). :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 45 mins (2005-10-23 11:56:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oops, I'm sorry - I left out the last ")" and it should have read "...sound of the sentence...". ;-)

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 55

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Armorel Young: yes, it must be a shareholders' meeting
25 mins

agree  Richard Benham: ...unless one shareholder is holding a very private meeting. Which/that, for me, is a question of feeling, but there is no option about commas: without for defining, with for giving additional information.
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search