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    #1

    relative clauses

    What is the grammatically correct clause mentioned below ?

    1.(a) Isobel,whose brother john was,(had heard the joke before.) or
    (b)Isobel,whose brother was john,(had heard the joke before.)

    2.(a)John,who Isobel's brother was... or
    (b)John,who was Isobel's brother...
    Last edited by Dinusha; 17-Sep-2014 at 13:21.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: relative clauses

    1a and 2a are wrong; totally unnatural.
    1b and 2b are grammatical, but are strange in the context. Another way of saying this is:
    "Isobel, John's sister, had heard the joke before." This is far more natural; it just identifies who Isobel is, for those who don't know
    Isobel, but who do know John. For this reason, 2b is better than 1b.

    Thanks for taking my other advice. It doesn't always happen.

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    #3

    Re: relative clauses

    According to your answer, 1(a) and 2(a) are wrong.I also felt they may be wrong.

    but I saw a sentence like 'Isobel,whose brother he was,had heard the joke before' in Oxford advanced learner's dictionary.
    what do you think about this sentence.http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie.../english/whose

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: relative clauses

    I think it may have something to do with 'he' being a pronoun.

    Not a teacher.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: relative clauses

    I don't like it much. But it depends on the context. That sentence also uses 'he', not 'John'. So, something must have been said about John - given that he is referred to as 'he', and that 'he' is understood as John.
    This is possible:
    "John told a very funny joke. Isobel, whose brother he was, had heard the joke before and did not laugh."
    But far more natural would be: "Isobel, his sister, had heard the joke before..."

    Dictionaries often offer examples that sound unnatural because they're given without a context. But I'm still trying to think of a natural context for "Isobel, whose brother he was, ..." Perhaps another native speaker can think of a natural context.

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