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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    that or what?

    Hi, there!

    Please, help me in a question.
    In the phrase: "Anything ..... she says is wrong", which word is missing: that or what?.
    The same question for the phrase: "I liked the first part, but everything else .... they did was dreadful". It's that or what?
    Why? Which is the difference between that and what?

    Thank you very much in advance!


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #2

    Re: that or what?

    'what' is necessary in these sentences

    'what' does not refer to a noun that comes BEFORE it; it acts as a 'noun+relative pronoun' together, and means 'the thing(s) which':

    'What she said made me angry'.
    'I hope you are going to give me what I need'.

    'What' cannot be used as an ordinary relative pronoun AFTER a noun or pronoun.

    'We haven't got everything that you ordered' (NOT...everything what...= wrong!)
    The thing that keeps me awake is coffee.(NOT...the thing what...= wrong!)

    see your Grammar reference book - 'relative clauses' and you will find further explanations

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: that or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lumida View Post
    Hi, there!

    Please, help me with a question.

    In the phrase: "Anything ..... she says is wrong", which word is missing: that or what? You can use "that," but it's not necessary. "What" is wrong.

    The same question for the phrase: "I liked the first part, but everything else .... they did was dreadful". It's that or what? Same answer, too! "What" is wrong. "That" is fine but not needed. It means the same thing without it.

    Why? What is the difference between that and what?

    That's an advanced question. The short answer is: They're two different words. What does your dictionary tell you?

    Maybe this will help:

    In your examples, "what" would roughly mean "the thing." So the sentence would read: "Anything the thing she says is wrong." That doesn't make sense.

    But "that" would simply be what we call a subordinate conjunction, and doesn't really have a meaning. So you don't have to use it.

    (Notice how I used "what" above. It means "the thing." It would read "...simply be the thing we call...." That makes sense.)

    Thank you very much in advance!
    You're welcome.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: that or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by solnadya View Post
    'what' is necessary in these sentences

    'what' does not refer to a noun that comes BEFORE it; it acts as a 'noun+relative pronoun' together, and means 'the thing(s) which':

    'What she said made me angry'.
    'I hope you are going to give me what I need'.

    'What' cannot be used as an ordinary relative pronoun AFTER a noun or pronoun.

    'We haven't got everything that you ordered' (NOT...everything what...= wrong!)
    The thing that keeps me awake is coffee.(NOT...the thing what...= wrong!)

    see your Grammar reference book - 'relative clauses' and you will find further explanations
    PS - This is also a great answer.


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    #5

    Re: that or what?

    Here is another gobbledygook:

    About conjunctive and relative pronouns.
    Both of them perform the notional (member of a sentence) and the structural (introduce a clause) function in the sentence. But the relative pronoun has an antecedent while the conjunctive pronoun does not.

    I know the man that you are talking about. (relative pronoun 'that' functions as prepositional object, 'man' is its antecedent)

    I know who you are talking about. (conjunctive pronoun 'who' functions as prepositional object, no antecedent.

  4. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: that or what?

    Solnadia, Charlie & Clark, thank you very much for all! :)


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    #7

    Re: that or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Here is another gobbledygook:

    About conjunctive and relative pronouns.
    Both of them perform the notional (member of a sentence) and the structural (introduce a clause) function in the sentence. But the relative pronoun has an antecedent while the conjunctive pronoun does not.

    I know the man that you are talking about. (relative pronoun 'that' functions as prepositional object, 'man' is its antecedent)

    I know who you are talking about. (conjunctive pronoun 'who' functions as prepositional object, no antecedent.
    What does notional function in a sentence means, Clark?


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    #8

    Re: that or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    What does notional function in a sentence means, Clark?
    I pointed it out in the brackets. It can be a sentence constituent (a member of the sentence) - subject, object.


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    #9

    Re: that or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I pointed it out in the brackets. It can be a sentence constituent (a member of the sentence) - subject, object.
    copied, thanks

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