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    #1

    Relative Clauses

    Hi guys,

    Today in the classroom I had an interesting experience in the use of WHO.

    According to the rule, WHO (or WHICH) can be omitted if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.

    So, the example was: SheŽs the girl (who) I met last Summer, which the students promptly understood.

    Later, we came across another example, this one, a bit longer:

    (1) Then, suddenly I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team WHO IŽd met earlier.

    Then, according to the rule, the relative pronoun can be omitted without
    sacrificing the meaning of the sentence. But this time, my students could not see the application of the rule i.e.: they could not see the DIFFERENT SUBJECT in the sentence and, for a while, neither could I.

    Seconds later, I came to the conclusion that, although the pronoun (subject) is the same ('I') and the situations (HEAR and MEET) involve the same person, technically we can consider that we have TWO DIFFERENT SUBJECTS.

    In order to illustrate better, I made up the following example:

    (2) I AM the person who WENT to Italy last year.

    And explained that in the above sentence both verbs refer to the same person, and therefore, we could never omit the relative pronoun. Differently from sentence (1).

    IŽd like to ask your help guys, in order to confirm as to whether my assumptions are correct or not.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Cheers,

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Relative Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by andresalles View Post
    Hi guys,

    Today in the classroom I had an interesting experience in the use of WHO.

    According to the rule, WHO (or WHICH) can be omitted if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.

    So, the example was: SheŽs the girl (who) I met last Summer, which the students promptly understood.
    Technically, this would be WHOM. I met whom earlier. ... the girl whom I met. It's in the objective case in the relative clause.

    Later, we came across another example, this one, a bit longer:

    (1) Then, suddenly I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team WHOM IŽd met earlier.
    But in this case, the subject of the main clause, I, is the same as the subject of the relative clause.
    I heard the voice. I met one of the members earlier.

    Then, according to the rule, the relative pronoun can be omitted without
    sacrificing the meaning of the sentence. But this time, my students could not see the application of the rule i.e.: they could not see the DIFFERENT SUBJECT in the sentence and, for a while, neither could I.
    Neither can I .

    Seconds later, I came to the conclusion that, although the pronoun (subject) is the same ('I') and the situations (HEAR and MEET) involve the same person, technically we can consider that we have TWO DIFFERENT SUBJECTS.
    Yes, in the first case. one is the subject of the main clause, and I is the subject of the second clause.
    SheŽs the girl (whom) I met last Summer.
    She (subject) is the girl. I (subject) met the girl (object) last summer.
    In your second example, the subject is the same, and you can omit the 'who'.
    I heard the voice of one of the members I met earlier.

    In order to illustrate better, I made up the following example:

    (2) I AM the person who WENT to Italy last year.

    And explained that in the above sentence both verbs refer to the same person, and therefore, we could never omit the relative pronoun. Differently from sentence (1).
    Yes, because this is who not whom.
    I (subject) am the person. I (subject) went to Italy last year.
    But consider: I am the person I saw in the mirror. (Same subject: no who/m)

    IŽd like to ask your help guys, in order to confirm as to whether my assumptions are correct or not.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Cheers,

    On some occasions, you can use a repeated I without who.
    A: Who do you love the most?
    B: I'm the person (who/m) I love the most.
    But this is because the subject and object are the same - I, me.
    I love myself the most. I saw myself in the mirror.
    (1) Then, suddenly I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team WHO IŽd met earlier.
    In this case, there is a potential problem with knowing whether the referent of the relative clause is "one of the members", or "the research team". This would be especially so if instead of 'team', a more personal term like 'the research people' was used. But that's another problem.

    So, the rule you quote:
    WHO (or WHICH) can be omitted if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.
    does not mean that WHO (or WHICH) cannot be omitted if the subject is the same.



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    #3

    Re: Relative Clauses

    if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.

    No wonder that book's edict is confusing. More simply: the 'rule' is, use 'who' if the relative pronoun IS the subject of the verb that comes after it.

    1. You use 'who' when it is the subject of a defining Relative Clause:

    The people who live in that cottage are friends of mine.

    2. You can use, or omit, 'whom' when it is the object of a defining Relative Clause:
    SheŽs the girl whom I met last Summer.
    or
    SheŽs the girl I met last Summer.

    Then, suddenly, I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team whom IŽd met earlier.
    or
    Then, suddenly, I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team IŽd met earlier.**
    **Some native speakers would choose to include the 'whom', because the object of the verb 'heard' is not a person, but 'voice', so the use of 'whom' adds a touch of clarity in that we are referring to 'one of the other members'. It works just as well without.

    *******Note: there is an increasing trend to use 'who' instead of 'whom' when it is the object of a Relative Clause, and also after prepositions....... EXCEPT when the object comes immediately after the preposition:
    The Queen, for whom the British people have a great affection,...
    compare:
    That's the man who I gave it to.

    I am a Loyalist - I'm on the side of continued use of 'whom' as the objective form of 'who', except in colloquial speech.
    Last edited by David L.; 02-May-2009 at 16:13.

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    #4

    Re: Relative Clauses

    On some occasions, you can use a repeated I without who.

    A: Who do you love the most?

    B: I'm the person (who/m) I love the most.

    But this is because the subject and object are the same - I, me.

    I love myself the most. I saw myself in the mirror.

    (1) Then, suddenly I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team WHO IŽd met earlier.

    In this case, there is a potential problem with knowing whether the referent of the relative clause is "one of the members", or "the research team". This would be especially so if instead of 'team', a more personal term like 'the research people' was used. But that's another problem.



    Yes, I see your point, but I tend to accept that WHO(M) refers to ONE OF THE MEMBERS, as it seems to me that the prepositional phrase 'of the research team' is being used exclusively as a complement of 'members'.

    So, the rule you quote:

    WHO (or WHICH) can be omitted if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.

    does not mean that WHO (or WHICH) cannot be omitted if the subject is the same.



    Thanks a lot for the eye-opener but I was not going that way.

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    #5

    Re: Relative Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    if the verb after the relative pronoun has a DIFFERENT SUBJECT.

    No wonder that book's edict is confusing. More simply: the 'rule' is, use 'who' if the relative pronoun IS the subject of the verb that comes after it.
    Yes, this is much clearer

    1. You use 'who' when it is the subject of a defining Relative Clause:

    The people who live in that cottage are friends of mine.

    2. You can use, or omit, 'whom' when it is the object of a defining Relative Clause:
    SheŽs the girl whom I met last Summer.
    or
    SheŽs the girl I met last Summer.

    Then, suddenly, I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team whom IŽd met earlier.
    or
    Then, suddenly, I heard the voice of one of the other members of the research team IŽd met earlier.**
    **Some native speakers would choose to include the 'whom', because the object of the verb 'heard' is not a person, but 'voice', so the use of 'whom' adds a touch of clarity in that we are referring to 'one of the other members'. It works just as well without.

    *******Note: there is an increasing trend to use 'who' instead of 'whom' when it is the object of a Relative Clause, and also after prepositions....... EXCEPT when the object comes immediately after the preposition:
    The Queen, for whom the British people have a great affection,...
    compare:
    That's the man who I gave it to.

    I am a Loyalist - I'm on the side of continued use of 'whom' as the objective form of 'who', except in colloquial speech.
    Following your explanation, I personally like WHOM, simply because itŽs weird that WHO functions as both the subjective and objective case in sentences, WHICH is for me, nothing but a mistake. Thanks for the clarification.


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    #6

    Re: Relative Clauses

    You're welcome.
    My mission in this forum is but to foster clarity...and a little bit more.

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