[Grammar] relative clause with what

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lille82

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"Is it really all you can say?" Why is the sentence with the relative pronoun "what" incorrect?
 

bhaisahab

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"Is it really all you can say?" Why is the sentence with the relative pronoun "what" incorrect?

I'm afraid I don't understand your question."what" wouldn't fit anywhere in that sentence.
 

lille82

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Sorry about that. I was thinking of this: "Is it really all what you can say?"
 

bhaisahab

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emsr2d2

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The only word you could add to "Is it really all you can say?" would be "that".

Is it really all that you can say?

"That" is unnecessary though.
 

lille82

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I thought that the above sentence is somehow similar to those relative clauses when we are referring to verbs the only pronoun that be can used is "what", like in these examples:

I was surprised what I saw.
I remember what you told me.
 

emsr2d2

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I thought that the above sentence is somehow similar to those relative clauses when we are referring to verbs the only pronoun "what" can be used, like in these examples:

I was surprised what I saw. :cross:
I remember what you told me. :tick:

The first is incorrect. You might say "I was surprised by what I saw" or "I was surprised at what I saw".
The second is correct. "What" could be replaced by "that which".

Your original example was a question. The two examples you just gave are statements. Remember that just because a construction or word fits one sentence, that doesn't mean it fits all of them.
 

5jj

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I liked what he said.
I liked everything/all (that) he said.

I liked some of what he said.
I liked some of the things (that) he said.

'What' as a relative has the idea of 'the thing(s) that. 'All' as a pronoun has the idea of 'everything. Perhaps that explains why 'all, everything, nothing, something, thing, things' cannot be followed by relative 'what'.
 
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