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  1. #1
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
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    Smile relative pronoun, which

    What do you think is the antecedent of which in the following example?
    He began digging again with more energy. A tear grew in his eyes. Not because the dumpster smelled rank, which it did, but because he felt horrible for having let his best friend down.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: relative pronoun, which

    dumpster, for sure - you could rephrase this with less emphasis as 'not because of the dumpster, which smelled rank, but because ...'

  3. #3
    yuriya's Avatar
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    Talking Re: relative pronoun, which

    Not because the dumpster smelled rank, which it did
    The antecedent is not Dumpster because if it is, what is the antecedent of it then? To me, the antecedent seems to be smelled rank; however, a verb phrase as an antecedent is kind of new to me, which was again the reason for this query. Any thoughts on this?
    Last edited by yuriya; 08-Jun-2010 at 12:14.

  4. #4
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    Re: relative pronoun, which

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    dumpster, for sure - you could rephrase this with less emphasis as 'not because of the dumpster, which smelled rank, but because ...'
    Surely, in the phrase "which it did", 'it' refers to the dumpster.
    If so, how can 'which' also refer to the dumpster?

    One possibility: 'Which' refers to 'rank', 'it' refers to 'dumpster', and 'did' refers to 'smelled'.
    "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, which it did, but..." = "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, and rank the dumpster smelled, but ..."

    Another possibility: 'Which' could refer to "smell rank" if you read it as: "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, and smell rank the dumpster did, but ..."

    Naturally, you can make 'which' refer to 'dumpster' by writing a different sentence.

    PS: I posted this before I read your (yuria) above post. I agree.

  5. #5
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: relative pronoun, which

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Surely, in the phrase "which it did", 'it' refers to the dumpster.
    If so, how can 'which' also refer to the dumpster?

    One possibility: 'Which' refers to 'rank', 'it' refers to 'dumpster', and 'did' refers to 'smelled'.
    "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, which it did, but..." = "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, and rank the dumpster smelled, but ..."

    Another possibility: 'Which' could refer to "smell rank" if you read it as: "Not because the dumpster smelled rank, and smell rank the dumpster did, but ..."

    Naturally, you can make 'which' refer to 'dumpster' by writing a different sentence.

    PS: I posted this before I read your (yuria) above post. I agree.
    Oops, wrong again! I'm going to have to stop posting in my fag breaks and limit myself to a few posts when I've got time to read more attentively. Until then, with apologies!

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: relative pronoun, which

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    What do you think is the antecedent of which in the following example?


    Thanks in advance!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Yuriya.

    (1) Thanks for another thought-provoking question.

    (2) I found something in Professor George O. Curme's scholarly book:

    In descriptive relative clauses that refer to a THOUGHT, AN IDEA, whether

    contained in a PROPOSITION, A GROUP OF WORDS, or a single NOUN or

    ADJECTIVE, "which" is used with reference to a preceding statement or to

    a single noun or adjective.

    (3) Then the professor gives examples:

    I am getting gray and wrinkled, which is not particularly cheering.

    We talked a long while about our boyhood days, after which we had a

    good dinner.

    When overwrought, which he often was, he became acutely irritable.
    ( from a novel by Ms. Charlotte Bronte)

    (4) Since you are a serious and advanced student, do think about trying

    to get a copy of Dr. Curme's two-volume A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH

    LANGUAGE. It was written in the 1930's and is probably out-of-print.

    He covers the historical development of English with many examples from

    literature. I believe it is what people call a tour de force.

    Have a nice day!

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