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  1. #1
    l10nel is offline Newbie
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    Default What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    Hello,

    In this sentence:

    What is the name of the girl ___ you want to know?

    (1) What are the possible relative pronouns for the blank?

    (2) What is the antecedent for the relative pronoun?

    I already formed an opinion on this and there's no doubt in my mind, but unfortunately my view isn't shared by others. So I'm seeking your input.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    What is your opinion?

    John

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    Welcome to the forum, l10nel,

    The idea is that you tell us what you think first.

    Rover

  4. #4
    l10nel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    John and Rover:

    Thanks for replying. Here's what I think:

    The antecedent must be 'the girl'. Therefore, the acceptable relative pronouns are whom, who, or that. Or, it can be omitted:

    What is the name of the girl whom/who/that/[nothing] you want to know?

    If the antecedent is 'the name' (in other words, 'the name of the girl'), the sentence doesn't make sense. It will result in the asker knowing that "you want to know the name of the girl" and still going on to ask you what the name of the girl is.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    What is the name of the girl whom/who/that/[nothing] you want to know?

  6. #6
    l10nel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    5jj:

    Thank you for the show of support. Could you confirm that you therefore agree with me that the antecedent must be 'the girl' and cannot be 'the name (of the girl)', because the latter is not warranted by a logical or sensible reading of the sentence, as far as standard/proper English is concerned?

  7. #7
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the antecedent in this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    5jj:

    Thank you for the show of support. Could you confirm that you therefore agree with me that the antecedent must be 'the girl' and cannot be 'the name (of the girl)', because the latter is not warranted by a logical or sensible reading of the sentence, as far as standard/proper English is concerned?
    It's an unlikely sentence in English. We generally don't say, "I want to know that girl." We'd be more likely to say, "I'd like to meet (or get to know) that girl." But, you couldn't use that sentence in your question, because then "girl" would have to be the referent of "What's the name of that girl you want to meet (or get to know)."

    So, it's a trick question. But, the referent can't be 'name' for the reason you've given.

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