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    #1

    Relative Pronouns

    I'm hoping that someone may be able to help me understand subject and object relative pronouns.Have a look at the examples below:

    a)The apples that are lying on the table are bad.

    b)The apples that we bought in the shop are bad.

    I understand that in sentence a) the relative pronoun "that" is functioning as the subject of the adjective clause

    that - subject
    are lying - present continous verb
    on the table - prepositional phrase

    Example a) makes perfect sense it is a combination I have seen many time Subject Verb Preposition


    Please,please explain to me how the relative pronoun "that" is functioning as the object of the adjective phrase.I can not get my head around it.I have a good grasp of English but I am trying to explain this to someone who does not.Many of the websites and books I have checked spend a great deal of time explaining how to identify a object relative pronoun as well as the rules of object relative pronouns i.e. that they can be omitted ,but not one of them explains why in one situation a relative pronoun is considered an object but in the other it is considered a subject.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Relative Pronouns

    The apples are bad
    They are lying on the table.
    The apples that are lying on the table are bad.

    that in the third sentence has the same grammatical function as they in the second - subject of the verb are lying.

    The apples are bad.
    We bought them in the shop.
    The apples that we bought in the shop are bad.

    that in the sixth sentence has the same grammatical function as them in the fifth sentence - object of the verb bought.

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    #3

    Re: Relative Pronouns

    Thank you for your response.I was hoping that perhaps someone out there could clarify a few things for me.
    Have a look at these examples:

    That is a museum which I like very much.
    WHICH relates back to the noun MUSEUM and is the object of the verb LIKE. The subject of the dependent clause is I.

    That is a museum which lies in the heart of the town.

    WHICH relates back to the noun MUSEUM and is the subject of the dependent clause and the verb LIES.

    How can I explain in simple terms when to use objective case and when to use subjective case.
    How can I also explain that the object is in not in the usual subject,verb,object position. Is there any formula for this?

    I would also really appreciate help explaining how the word WHICH can be the subject of a relative clause.I have always thought of the subject as either who or what the sentence is about or as the instigator of the action.I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed and I appreciate any and all contributions.

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