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Thread: quick question

  1. #1
    tiyna Guest

    Default quick question

    Are the following sentences correct? Please explain to me why they're incorrect or correct:

    * The man about to whom I told you was nice
    * The man whom I told you about was nice

    * The teacher about whom I told you is mean
    * The teacher whom I told you about is mean

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by tiyna
    Are the following sentences correct? Please explain to me why they're incorrect or correct:

    * The man about to whom I told you was nice
    * The man whom I told you about was nice

    * The teacher about whom I told you is mean
    * The teacher whom I told you about is mean
    The first is wrong- there's no need for 'to'. The others are correct. In the second and fourth, you can also use 'who'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by tiyna
    Are the following sentences correct? Please explain to me why they're incorrect or correct:

    * The man about to whom I told you was nice
    * The man whom I told you about was nice

    * The teacher about whom I told you is mean
    * The teacher whom I told you about is mean
    In addition, here's how the sentences work.

    First put the sentence back into its original order. For example, the sentence The man whom I told you about was nice would look like this:

    I told you about the man who was nice.

    Second, move the object of the verb to the front. The object is 'the man'

    The man I told you about who was nice.

    Third, delete 'who', because without something to modify, it's meaningless:

    The man I told you about was nice.

    Fourth, add in the relative pronoun 'whom'.

    The man whom I told you about was nice.

    'whom' is added because it modifies 'the man', and 'the man is the verb's object. Even though we have moved 'the man' around, it still remains the object of the verb. (The subject of the sentence is "I", and the main verb is "told".)

    Note, these days, whom and who are merging to who, so even though the grammar requires that we use 'whom', speakers use 'who' instead. For example, the following sentence is acceptable:

    The man who I told you about was nice.

    Now, as for the second sentence, The man about whom I told you was nice, here we have a sentence in which the prepositional phrase 'about the man' is moved to the front:

    Step 1: I told you about the man who is nice.
    Step 2: About the man I told you who is nice.

    and then the object of the preposition, 'the man', is moved to the front,

    Step 2: About the man I told you who is nice.
    Step 3: The man about I told you is nice.

    and then the relative pronoun 'whom' is added:

    Step 3: The man about I told you is nice.
    Step 4: The man about whom I told you is nice.

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