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    #1

    whom they believe is the missing brother.

    They have found a man whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Is the above sentence acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    It's incorrect.
    Just swap whom for who or that, or just leave the relative pronoun out altogether.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Really? I would have said "they believed him to be the missing brother" and kept with the objective case.

    (I mean, actually, I would have done exactly what engee suggests, but as a matter of whether "whom" is incorrect, I can't say it is.)
    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.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Really? I would have said "they believed him to be the missing brother" and kept with the objective case.
    That's fine, but you have changed the sentence.

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    #5

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    It's incorrect.
    Just swap whom for who or that, or just leave the relative pronoun out altogether.
    I don't think you can leave out the relative pronoun altogether.
    I need native speakers' help.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Really? I would have said "they believed him to be the missing brother" and kept with the objective case.
    That's fine, but you have changed `the sentence.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Sorry, I didn't mean I'd re-write, but that's how I'd parse out which pronoun to use mentally.
    The man [who/whom] they believe...

    I read it as "they believe him to be" not "they believe he is" but I accept that other read it as "they believe he is."

    And yes, sitifan,you can leave it out entirely, and I would.
    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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    #8

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    I don't think you can leave out the relative pronoun altogether.
    Yes, you can.

    They have found a man they believe is the missing brother.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    They have found a man whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Is the above sentence acceptable?
    Not a teacher

    I'd say that "who" (not "whom") is correct. Your example contains not just a relative clause, but also a content clause of which "who" is the subject:

    They have found x. They believe (that) x is the missing brother.

    Subjects are always in the subjective case (I, he, they, who etc.) so "who" must be correct here. Since x is subject, the relative pronoun can be omitted.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-Apr-2016 at 21:04. Reason: Added "Not a teacher" and sorted out formatting

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    #10

    Re: whom they believe is the missing brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    Subjects are always in the subjective case (I, he, they, who etc.) so "who" must be correct here. Since x is subject, the relative pronoun can be omitted.
    I agree with you on that. However, in Barb's I believe him to be the missing brother, 'him' appears to be, in some schools of grammar, the subject of 'to be'. How do you deal with that?

    ps. That's a genuine question. I don't know what the answer is, and I would like to know.

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