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  1. #1
    learning54's Avatar
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    Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Hi teachers,
    Context;
    ‘So who did murder the President, then?’ Felixasked.
    Idon’t know, Marta said. You’re the policeman. You go and find the murderer. But I can tell you one thing. You can begin with the new President. He’s got a murderer’s face.

    According to the above context, the following sentences would be correct, won’t they?
    Is there a more challenging question?

    Who did Marta tell Felix to begin with?
    She told him that he should begin with the new President.
    This one can’t be. Right?
    She told him to begin with the new President.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by learning54; 08-Sep-2012 at 17:52.

  2. #2
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Whom did Marta tell Felix to begin with?

  3. #3
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54

    [COLOR=#000000
    Who did Marta tellFelix to begin with?[/COLOR]
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Learning:

    Of course, I shall let one of your fellow teachers answer your question.

    I only wanted to gently remind you of something. There is always the possibility that one of your students (for

    whatever reason) knows the difference between "who" and "whom."

    So that student might ask you, "Excuse me, teacher. But isn't the correct question 'Whom did Marta tell Felix to begin with?'?"

    As you know, that student would be correct, for if we put the question in regular order (only for analysis), we get:

    Marta did tell Felix to begin with whom. (Of course, we use "whom" after a preposition such as "with.")

    I know that many teachers will tell you that most native speakers in 2012 would use "who" in that question, but I

    just wanted to remind you about the "correct" answer -- just in case you have one of those super smart students who

    like to point out "mistakes" to their teachers!


    HAVE A NICE DAY!


    James

    EDIT: I see that Bennevis and I were typing our replies at the same time. It's nice to know that Bennevis, a teacher, apparently feels that "whom" should be used -- even in 2012!

  4. #4
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I only wanted to gently remind you of something. There is always the possibility that one of your students (for whatever reason) knows the difference between "who" and "whom." So that student might ask you, "Excuse me, teacher. But isn't the correct question 'Whom did Marta tell Felix to begin with?'?"
    Wouldn't such a 'super smart' student ask you "Excuse me, teacher. But isn't the correct question 'With whom did Marta tell Felix to begin?"

    In 2012, 'whom' is no more 'correct' than 'who'.

  5. #5
    learning54's Avatar
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    She told him to begin with the new President.

    Hi Bennevis,
    Thank you for your reply. Would the above one be right, according to the given context, as an answer to 'your' corrected question?

    L.


    Last edited by learning54; 09-Sep-2012 at 06:27.

  6. #6
    learning54's Avatar
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Hello James,
    Thank you very much for your additional and well explained reason.

    L.
    Last edited by learning54; 09-Sep-2012 at 06:27.

  7. #7
    learning54's Avatar
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Wouldn't such a 'super smart' student ask you "Excuse me, teacher. But isn't the correct question 'With whom did Marta tell Felix to begin?"

    In 2012, 'whom' is no more 'correct' than 'who'.
    Hi,
    Thank you for your concern. Maybe not, maybe a student will never ask me such a question, but just in case it is better to have an answer. Generally knowledge is better than ignorance.

    L.

  8. #8
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Re: Who did she tell him to begin with?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    But isn't the correct question 'With whom did Marta tell Felix to begin?"


    From most "correct" to least "correct":

    1. For whom is the present?
    2. Whom is the present for?
    3. Who is the present for?

    I don't think that I have ever heard #1*. It's so uncommon that it almost sounds unnatural in my very inexpert opinion.

    *Although, interestingly enough, in Germanic languages, in a similar sentence, the preposition is always placed at the beginning of the sentence.
    I should also point out that I don't find myself very often in circles where formal English is spoken.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 08-Sep-2012 at 15:57.

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