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  1. #1
    lille82 is offline Newbie
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    Default relative clause with what

    "Is it really all you can say?" Why is the sentence with the relative pronoun "what" incorrect?

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    Quote Originally Posted by lille82 View Post
    "Is it really all you can say?" Why is the sentence with the relative pronoun "what" incorrect?
    I'm afraid I don't understand your question."what" wouldn't fit anywhere in that sentence.

  3. #3
    lille82 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    Sorry about that. I was thinking of this: "Is it really all what you can say?"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    Quote Originally Posted by lille82 View Post
    Sorry about that. I was thinking of this: "Is it really all what you can say?"
    No, that's not correct.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    The only word you could add to "Is it really all you can say?" would be "that".

    Is it really all that you can say?

    "That" is unnecessary though.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    lille82 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    I thought that the above sentence is somehow similar to those relative clauses when we are referring to verbs the only pronoun that be can used is "what", like in these examples:

    I was surprised what I saw.
    I remember what you told me.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    Quote Originally Posted by lille82 View Post
    I thought that the above sentence is somehow similar to those relative clauses when we are referring to verbs the only pronoun "what" can be used, like in these examples:

    I was surprised what I saw.
    I remember what you told me.
    The first is incorrect. You might say "I was surprised by what I saw" or "I was surprised at what I saw".
    The second is correct. "What" could be replaced by "that which".

    Your original example was a question. The two examples you just gave are statements. Remember that just because a construction or word fits one sentence, that doesn't mean it fits all of them.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: relative clause with what

    I liked what he said.
    I liked everything/all (that) he said.

    I liked some of what he said.
    I liked some of the things (that) he said.

    'What' as a relative has the idea of 'the thing(s) that. 'All' as a pronoun has the idea of 'everything. Perhaps that explains why 'all, everything, nothing, something, thing, things' cannot be followed by relative 'what'.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 03-Feb-2013 at 19:38.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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