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    #1

    whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Hello everyone:
    Is the underlined part in following sentence correct?

    You are dealing with a man here whom you should be careful how to talk to .

    Thanks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by High on grammar View Post
    Hello everyone:
    Is the underlined part in following sentence correct?

    You are dealing with a man here whom you should be careful how to talk to .

    Thanks
    No. If I absolutely had to use "whom" I would say "You are dealing with a man to whom you should be careful how you talk".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    No. If I absolutely had to use "whom" I would say "You are dealing with a man to whom you should be careful how you talk".
    What is the difference? It is like saying " the man across from whom I used to live" and" The man whom I used to live across from."

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    #4

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by High on grammar View Post
    What is the difference? It is like saying " the man across from whom I used to live" and" The man whom I used to live across from."
    The first is very stuffy, and something of a mix of registers; the second is a bizarre mix of registers.

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    #5

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    In short, don't use "whom" unless it's immediately after a preposition, if you must use it at all. Most native speakers use "who" (except immediately after a preposition).
    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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    #6

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The first is very stuffy, and something of a mix of registers; the second is a bizarre mix of registers.
    Please give a grammatical explanation: what do you mean by "something of a mix of registers" and " a bizarre mix of registers" ?

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    #7

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by High on grammar View Post
    What is the difference? It is like saying " the man across from whom I used to live" and" The man whom I used to live across from."
    No, it's actually not the same from a structural viewpoint.

    The problem with the sentence at issue is that the preposition is deferred until after a postmodifying phrase (how to talk) - setting aside the separate issue of the correctness of the phrase itself (--> how you talk, as indicated in a previous answer).

    The relative elasticity in English of the preposition-to-relative pronoun connection does not extend to circumventing that level of obstacle!
    Last edited by philo2009; 27-May-2013 at 04:41.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    I'm sure that cleared everything up for the original poster completely.
    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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    #9

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    When 5jj talked about registers, he was referring to the kinds of usages one would usually resort to in various circumstances. I speak to my wife differently than I would speak to you or 5jj. You would speak differently with your friends at the pub than you would to your teacher, or at your mother's funeral.

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    #10

    Re: whom you should be careful how to talk to?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    No, it's actually not the same from a structural viewpoint.

    The problem with the sentence at issue that the preposition is deferred until after a postmodifying phrase (how to talk) - setting aside the separate issue of the correctness of the phrase itself (--> how you talk, as indicated in a previous answer).

    The relative elasticity in English of the preposition-to-relative pronoun connection does not extend to circumventing that level of obstacle!
    The phrase you are referring to as incorrect is "how to talk to" not "how you talk".
    And by the way here are a couple of examples of stranded prepositions:
    Which act did John leave the theater after?

    Who did you destroy a picture of?


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