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    #1

    'what' introducing a relative clause?

    Hello,

    I remember an American teacher who taught me Academic Writing saying that "what" is not used in relative clauses (e.g. in contrast to "which"). Also English textbooks dealing with relative clauses only mention who/which/that and when/why/where.

    Do you, native speakers and good grammarians, agree with the above statements?

    I wonder what type of a clause is the one in bold in the following sentence?

    That is what I expected.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: 'what' introducing a relative clause?

    Your teacher may have been referring to sentences like "That's the man what stole my purse!" or "Culinary school is a school what teaches you cooking."

    Those sentences are wrong and should be "who" and "that" respectively.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: 'what' introducing a relative clause?

    Quote Originally Posted by echelon View Post
    I wonder what type of a clause is the one in bold in the following sentence?

    That is what I expected.

    Thank you.
    Depending on emphasis, that could be either a "headless (or nominal) relative clause" or a kind of cleft construction. Both are, as you imply, perfectly grammatical, and are presumably not what your teacher meant.

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    #4

    Re: 'what' introducing a relative clause?

    Quote Originally Posted by echelon View Post
    Hello,

    I remember an American teacher who taught me Academic Writing saying that "what" is not used in relative clauses (e.g. in contrast to "which"). Also English textbooks dealing with relative clauses only mention who/which/that and when/why/where.

    Do you, native speakers and good grammarians, agree with the above statements?

    I wonder what type of a clause is the one in bold in the following sentence?

    That is what I expected.

    Thank you.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Good morning.

    (1) I was taught that "what" in your sentence is being used as a so-called indefinite relative pronoun.

    (2) In other words, "what" = "that which" (in that particular sentence).

    (3) So your sentence should be parsed (analyzed) as:

    That is that (which I expected).

    (4) It's classified as an adjective (relative) clause.

    Thank you.

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