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  1. youandcorey's Avatar
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    #1

    Cool whose

    There was a cat whose tail was long on the chair.

    This sentence looks strange, but how can the strangeness be explained?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: whose

    The first part is okay - there was a cat whose tail was very long.

    But what does "long on the chair" mean?
    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.

  3. youandcorey's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: whose

    Thank you for your quick and kind reply!

    "long on the chair" is supposed to refer to the cat having a long tail and it's on the chair. The key point is that the author wishes to use whose to demonstrate that the cat has a long tail and its on the chair.

    I want to explain that this is incorrect, but I need help.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: whose

    Ah, I see.

    You can use "whose" that way.

    The sentence "There is cat on the chair whose tail is long" is awkward because it sounds like the chair has a long tail. "There is a cat whose tail is long on the chair" caused my silly confusion about "long on the chair."

    You're better off saying "The cat on the chair has a long tail" or "The cat with the long tail (compared to the one with the short tail) is on the chair."

    But there's nothing inherently illegal about using "whose" for a cat. Not in my book.
    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.


    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #5

    Re: whose

    If you use commas, the problem will be solved:
    There was a cat, whose tail was long, on the chair.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: whose

    Quote Originally Posted by Mekdad View Post
    If you use commas, the problem will be solved:
    There was a cat, whose tail was long, on the chair.
    I can't fault Mekdad's suggestion grammatically, but I am sure native speakers would be far more likely to produce Barb-D's last two suggestions.

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