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Thread: whom

  1. #1
    azz is offline Member
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    Default whom

    There is somebody talking to whom might help.
    There is nobody going to whom will change things.


    Are these sentences grammatical?

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    Default Re: whom

    Quote Originally Posted by azz
    There is somebody talking to whom might help.
    There is nobody going to whom will change things.

    Are these sentences grammatical?
    Try,

    There is somebody talking to someone who might help.
    There is nobody going to whom not going will matter.

  3. #3
    azz is offline Member
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    Default Re: whom

    Hi Casiopeai,
    I think there are typos in your sentences.

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    Default Re: whom

    Quote Originally Posted by azz
    Hi Casiopeai,
    I think there are typos in your sentences.
    Thank you, azz. Could you explain further?

  5. #5
    azz is offline Member
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    Default Re: whom

    Well, I don't understand these sentences.
    There is somebody talking to someone who might help.
    There is nobody going to whom not going will matter.

    Actaully I can understand the first one, but it doesn't mean what I meant. Your sentence means: Someone is talking to someone else, and this second person might help.
    My sentence was supposed to mean:
    There is someone it would be good to talk to.
    There is someone it would help to talk to.
    (But I am not sure if these sentences are acceptable either. Actually to me they sound wrong.)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: whom

    Quote Originally Posted by azz
    Well, I don't understand these sentences.
    There is somebody talking to someone who might help.
    There is nobody going to whom not going will matter.

    Actaully I can understand the first one, but it doesn't mean what I meant. Your sentence means: Someone is talking to someone else, and this second person might help.
    My sentence was supposed to mean:
    There is someone it would be good to talk to.
    There is someone it would help to talk to.
    (But I am not sure if these sentences are acceptable either. Actually to me they sound wrong.)
    Oh, I see. Let's go back to the original sentences, then. I'm going to number them 1. and 2., if that's OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by azz
    1. There is somebody talking to whom might help.
    2. There is nobody going to whom will change things.
    Both 1. and 2. are ungrammatical. The problem in 1. has to do with the word 'whom'. It's a relative pronoun, which means it needs an antecedent, or someone/thing to refer back to. To correct the sentence, I added an antecendent in for you, like this,

    1a. There is somebody talking to someone who might help.

    Now that I see the meaning you are after, let's ignore my correction.

    Azz, neither 1. nor 2. is an acceptable sentence. The same holds true for the following: (Please note, the symbol * means, ungrammatical.)

    *There is someone it would be good to talk to.
    *There is someone it would help to talk to.

    The problem has to do with the 'There', 'someone', and 'it'. All of them function as subjects. You need to omit two of them. With 'There is' and 'There are' structures the word coming after the verb is called the logical subject. That is, in terms of meaning, 'someone' is the real subject. 'There' is not the real subject. In fact, it's called an empty subject, specifically an expletive, or existential 'there'. It's the strucural subject, or what's needed structurally, and if we omit it, the sentence maintains the same meaning, like this,

    There is someone outside. ('There' is the structural subject)
    Someone is outside. ('someone' is the semantic, or logical subject)

    As for your sentences, well, gee, azz, I don't think it's possible to get the meaning you want by using 'There is'. Why not try?

    It would be good to talk to someone.
    It would be helpful to talk to someone.

    Again, "It" is an expletive, an empty subject. If we omit it, we get the true, or real subject:

    To talk to someone would be good.
    To talk to someone would be helpful.

    The phrase 'to talk to someone' functions as the real subject.

    Does that help? If not, let us know.

  7. #7
    azz is offline Member
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    Default Re: whom

    I think I understand now. But then again, when you say:
    It would be good to talk to someone.
    It would be helpful to talk to someone.

    you mean: go to someone and talk about it.

    That was not the intended meaning.

    There is this one person. He should be talked to.
    There is somebody that should be talked to. (I think this one is correct but awkward.)
    There is somebody that should be asked to help.
    There is somebody that you/one should talk to.
    I think this one is it. I don't think this is the same as "It would be good to talk to someone."

    PS. I hope I am not being pushy here. I realize that we have gone through about ten sentences now and your answers have been very detailed. I appreciate.
    Last edited by azz; 14-Jan-2005 at 15:12.

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    Default Re: whom

    Quote Originally Posted by azz
    There is this one person. He should be talked to.
    Yes. I see. What about these?

    Someone should talk to him.
    There is somebody who needs to be spoken to.
    There is somebody who should be asked to help.
    There is somebody whom you should talk to.

  9. #9
    azz is offline Member
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    Default Re: whom

    Yes, those are fine!! Thanks!

    How about:
    There is nobody to go to in order to change things.
    Last edited by azz; 14-Jan-2005 at 18:58.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: whom

    What about?

    There is nobody to go to to change things.
    There is nobody to go to who can change things.

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