Author Topic: clauses  (Read 6915 times)

Offline navi

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clauses
« on: September 21, 2013, 10:51:35 pm »
Are these sentences correct:

1-The director the number of whose films we did not know came into the room.

2-The director the number of films made by whom we did not know came into the room.

3--The writer a passage by whom I read for you yesterday is here among us.

4-The writer the books written by whom are becoming popular went behind the lectern.

All the clauses are supposed to be restrictive (defining).

I think the sentences would work if they were non-restrictive and had commas in front of them (The director, the number of...., we did not know.)

But the meaning would be different.

Gratefully,
Navi.

Offline Britta

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Re: clauses
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 07:26:09 am »
IMHO none of these sentences works in real life, navi.
 
1. People just don't normally slip a definition longer than the actual sentence beween subject and verb, even if they could.
2. Those complicated whose and by whom constructions are theoretically possible but people don't normally use them.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline Darryl

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Re: clauses
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 11:45:26 am »
Britta is right, Navi. While your sentences may be grammatically superb, that kind of language just isn't used anymore and it would certainly raise eyebrows even in the most formal of settings.
Instead of
The director the number of films made by whom we did not know came into the room.
Let's say:
The director came into the room. No-one knew how many films he'd made.


Offline davel

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Re: clauses
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 12:44:57 pm »
I agree with Britta and Darryl. The sentences are too long and complicated. (Actually, I disagree with Darryl's description of the grammar as 'superb' - I would say 'atrocious'!  ;D ) Darryl's two sentences are a perfect example of how to simplify things.
David

Offline Darryl

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Re: clauses
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 11:10:53 pm »
I agree with Britta and Darryl. The sentences are too long and complicated. (Actually, I disagree with Darryl's description of the grammar as 'superb' - I would say 'atrocious'!  ;D ) Darryl's two sentences are a perfect example of how to simplify things.

Yes, I guess 'superb' was a bit excessive. But I think Navi gets the idea. Sometimes in our endeavour to be grammatically correct things can get just too complicated and we risk losing the whole intention of the writing which is, of course, clear communication.

Offline admin

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Re: clauses
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 11:32:22 am »
The director of countless films came into the room.
The writer of increasingly popular books took the lectern.
Best wishes,

Duncan