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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (November 21, 2008)

Who's "That" Person?

Have you ever noticed this construction?

He was a person that felt very strongly about butterflies.

In the previous sentence "that" has replaced "who," the correct form. The sentence should read:

He was a person who felt very strongly about butterflies.

 I've seen this usage in my classrooms. The preferred usage, however, and the one that shows the most respect, is to use "who" when referring to a person (that is, unless you wish to dehumanize that person!).

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