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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    The grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence, please.

    Hi,

    'There are a few reasons why this cannot be the case with our project.'

    May I, please, know the grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence, please.

    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie.../english/why_1
    According to Definition#3, it should be an adverb.

    Not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: The grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence, please.

    'Why' is redundant in the sentence. 'Reasons' is the same as 'why', so you do not have to say 'a few reasons why'.

    not a teacher

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    #4

    Re: The grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence, please.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Mehrgan:

    According to one of my favorite books, "why" in "This is the reason why you failed" is a relative adverb.

    What is a relative adverb? That book says "[A]ny adverb which is correctly employed as a substitute [my emphasis] for a prepositional phrase [my emphasis] containing a relative pronoun may be called a relative adverb."

    Look at this great example from another book:

    "I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.
    The reason for which [my emphasis] I do not love thee, I cannot tell."



    James



    First book: House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (second edition, 1950), pages 360 -361.
    Second book: William Safire, On Language (1980), page 229.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The grammatical role of 'why' in this sentence, please.

    "Why" is indeed a relative adverb in that sentence. But as tedmc pointed out, it is not needed. And some would consider it incorrect.

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