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    #1

    Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    If you want to show that you are interested in what she is saying, nod.

    What type of a clause is the part in bold?

    In this case "what" could be replaced by "that which" (a relative clause). So why do some grammar books claim that "what" cannot introduce relative clauses (unlike "which" and "that")?

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    I'll answer your first question.

    It's a noun clause. We know that because it is introduced by a preposition (in). We know that 'what' is a noun because it replaces the verb's object (she is saying <something/what>, and we know it's a clause because it has a verb (is saying).

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    #3

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    I'll answer your first question.

    It's a noun clause. We know that because it is introduced by a preposition (in). We know that 'what' is a noun because it replaces the verb's object (she is saying <something/what>, and we know it's a clause because it has a verb (is saying).
    The only thing I agree with is that it is a clause (and I knew this already, if you read my post).

    The fact that a clause begins with a preposition can hardly make it a noun clause.

    Also, what is not a noun. The word class of what can only be pronoun or determiner. The fact that a word is an object of a transitive verb does not mean that the word is automatically a noun (it is not).

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    #4

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    The only thing I agree with is that it is a clause (and I knew it, if you read my post).

    The fact that a clause begins with a preposition can hardly make it a noun clause.
    That sort of response to someone who has tried to help you is hardly going to encourage others to bother,

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    #5

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    That sort of response to someone who has tried to help you is hardly going to encourage others to bother,
    If the answer misleads instead of helping, it should be clearly stated (to prevent others from being misled). I did so, and do not expect anyone to thank me for that.

    In other words, if you post nonsense in an advice-oriented forum, be prepared to get a corresponding answer.

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    #6

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    And if you post insulting responses to the people trying to help you, be prepared for no answer at all in the future.

    It IS introduced by a preposition; the preposition is not part of the noun clause.

    "What" stands in for the noun.
    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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    #7

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    If the answer misleads instead of helping, it should be clearly stated (to prevent others from being misled).
    You can clearly state something in many different ways. You can be polite and you can be obnoxious. You are very much the latter.



    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    I did so, and do not expect anyone to thank me for that.
    Do not expect your question to be answered either!

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    In other words, if you post nonsense in an advice-oriented forum, be prepared to get a corresponding answer.
    This is !
    Barbara devoted her time to try to sort out your problem. She was nice to you even if you think she was not "helpful". What does she get in return from you? Harsh criticism. Is this correct thus? I wish I could explain this to you in person.


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    #8

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    What type of a clause is the part in bold?
    Nominal relative clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    In other words, if you post nonsense in an advice-oriented forum, be prepared to get a corresponding answer.
    I am prepared for a corresponding answer.
    Last edited by corum; 06-Dec-2010 at 19:35.

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    #9

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    As delighted as I am to be mistaken for lauralie, she gets the credit, not me. :)
    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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    #10

    Re: Why shouldn't "what" introduce relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    As delighted as I am to be mistaken for lauralie, she gets the credit, not me. :)
    Indeed, sorry!

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