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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #1

    Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    What does "Who did he know who sent letters by post?" mean?
    (I saw it in another English forum.)

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    Please give context or a link to the thread in the other forum.

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?


  3. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    I am not a teacher.

    'Who did he know who sent letters by post?' = 'Who did he know that sent letters by post?'

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    #5

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

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

    Hello, Tzfujimino:

    I think that the sentence is important for students to carefully study.

    1. It shows that the word "whom" is still useful in order to make things clear.
    2. It shows that the word "that" is occasionally preferred when referring to a person (as illustrated by Roman).

    "Whom did he know that sent letters by post?"

    For analysis only, rearranging the words in regular order would make the meaning clear:

    "He did know whom that sent letters by post?"

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    'Who did he know that sent letters by post?'
    Does it mean 'Did he know the person that sent letters by post?'

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    No. It means Who (from among the people he knew) sent letters by post?

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    "Who did he know who sent letters by post?"
    Could it be rewritten as 'Who sent letters by post who he knew?'

  7. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    Thank you, everyone.
    I did understand the construction, but I couldn't translate it into natural Japanese.

    @TheParser
    Thank you for your comments. I see the construction this way:

    He knew the person who/that sent letters by post.
    -->Who did he know who/that sent letters by post?

    What an interesting construction!
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 18-Sep-2015 at 09:55. Reason: Changed the period to a question mark

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Who did he know who sent letters by post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Could it be rewritten as 'Who sent letters by post who he knew?'
    It's clumsy.

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