about omission of who

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alan

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Jul 8, 2004
1. the girl who the police suspect is arrested.

2. the girl who likes chocolate ate a lot of cakes in the buffet last night.

what i wanna ask is, why the "who" in the 1st example can be omitted,
but it cant be omitted in the second one.

thanks
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Yes, it can be omitted in the first because the girlis not the subject, but it can't in the second because she is the subject.:lol:
 

auazira

New member
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
alan said:
1. the girl who the police suspect is arrested.

2. the girl who likes chocolate ate a lot of cakes in the buffet last night.

what i wanna ask is, why the "who" in the 1st example can be omitted,
but it cant be omitted in the second one.

thanks

Hi!

Relative pronouns (who, which, etc) can act as the subject or the object in the dependent clause of a sentence. In the first sentence "who" is related to "the girl" and is the object of the dependent clause "who the police suspect", the main clause is "The girl is arrested". When "who" functions as an object, it can be omitted.

In the second sentence "who" is again related to "the girl", however, "who" is the subject in the dependent clause "who likes chocolate", that's why it can't be omitted. The main clause in that sentence is "The girl ate a lot of cakes..."

I hope this explanation helps a bit :)
 

bmo

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
It is easlier to understand if we say, "The girl whom the police suspect is arrested."

Who and whom are interchangeable here.
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
It is easlier to understand if we say, "The girl whom the police suspect is arrested."

Who and whom are interchangeable here.
I think grammatically, it should be 'whom', but current usage favors always using 'who' .

FRC
 
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