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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    what or that

    If I say: What caused his anger was the excess of authority. Is 'what' a relative pronoun that refers to 'the excess of authority'?
    Can I change the order and say: It was the excess of authority what caused his anger? (using the anticipatory 'it'?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what or that

    "What" is a pronoun, but I would not call it a relative pronoun. It acts as the subject of the sentence and functions like "it" in an anticipatory usage.

    Your change is not grammatical. Change "what" to "that".

  3. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: what or that

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    "What" is a pronoun, but I would not call it a relative pronoun. It acts as the subject of the sentence and functions like "it" in an anticipatory usage.

    Your change is not grammatical. Change "what" to "that".
    It is clear now, thanks. Then, what is 'that' if I change the pronoun? Is it part of a relative clause and a relative pronoun?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: what or that

    Yes, "that" would be a relative pronoun.

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