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    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Complex prepositional objects?

    Tell it to whomever [that] lost the book. (Subj + Subj)

    'that lost the book' is a relative clause in form, and an adjective clause in function: 'that' is the subject, 'lost' is the verb, and 'a book' is the object. The entire clause modifies 'whomever'. It tells us more about 'whomever'. (Note, a clause is tense. That is, a subject is not what makes a clause a Clause. That's why 'that' is often omitted.) <<<<

    Of course.


    So, you see, 'lost' is not left without a subject. It only appears that way because 'that', its true subject, has been omitted. <<

    But we cannot put "that" in the sentence.

    Tell it to whomever [that] lost the book. (Subj + Subj)

    It still appears to me that "lost" is without a subject.

    mm.....

    Whoever [it was that] lost the book needs to buy a new one.

    Tell it to whomever [that] lost the book. (Subj + Subj)

    I like this better, "Tell whoever lost the book that we have it here. They can come and get it whenever they want."

    I don't think "to" is very likely to follow "tell". I think it best to reserve "to" for "say". Of course "to" can follow "tell", but I wouldn't call it the most typical thing to occur in English.

    Did you tell them?

    What did you say to them?

    What did you tell them?

    What did you tell to them? - Nah - don't like it.
    Last edited by Steven D; 01-Dec-2004 at 04:12.

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