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"There are 2 words one of which I don't know the meaning."

"There are 2 words one of which I don't know the meaning of."

Which one is correct and why? If one of them is at all correct.

  • 1
    The second "of" seems unnecessary, but I'm going to have to let a better grammarian weigh in on this. – Andrew Dec 23 '16 at 2:08
  • 1
    Yes, it is necessary. Either "of" or "for." Though ending with "of" or "for" isn't good - it's better to rearrange the sentence. – Alex K Dec 23 '16 at 2:47
  • 2
    @AlexK: That is a silly old shibboleth. See this question on English Language & Usage and nohat's excellent answer. – Robusto Dec 23 '16 at 3:00
  • 1
    @Peter: I agree with you if you change it's to its. :) – Abbasi Dec 23 '16 at 8:38
  • @Abbasi The bane of auto-spell. – Peter Dec 23 '16 at 18:28
2

Only the first sentence is correct.

  • There are two words one of which I don't know the meaning.

The relative pronoun together with "of" heads the subordinate clause and sets the possessive relationship with antecedent, 'Words'. "Of which" serves the function of " whose". However, 'whose' cannot be used here because of the 'two' we like to highlight 'one' unknown.

  • There are two words one of which I don't know the meaning of.

If we are asked to split the sentence the last "of " is simply redundant.

  • I don't know the meaning of one of them.

Had we been a bit more idiotic we have a chance to relegate "of" to the end point.

  • There are two words which I don't know the meaning of.

There are instances where in informal speech (even in literal use) we use relative pronoun and preposition separately and sometimes ellide the relative pronoun all together, but that's not the case here.

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  • Could you mention a rule or a guide rule of when sometimes we can use relative pronoun and preposition separably and when not ? – Gamal Thomas Jan 26 '17 at 17:05
  • 1
    In contravention to the prescriptive grammar, when the object of the preposition is an interrogative pronoun or relative pronoun the preposition is placed at the end.{This is the boy that I spoke of./This is the girl(whom/who) I spoke to./The town(which)I knew of. and so on and so forth} In normal situation the preposition is fronted, relativized and placed together. Both are possible but as regards style, keeping them apart sounds sweet to my non-native ears. – Barid Baran Acharya Jan 26 '17 at 19:05
1

two words... the meaning of one of which ... I do not know

two words ... one of which... I do not know the meaning of.

There are two words. I do not know the meaning of one of them.

P.S.

We can concatenate these attributive of-phrases.

the market price of the catch of the day.

I do not know the market price of the catch of the day.

...the retail and wholesale prices of the catch of the day. Two prices, one of which I do not know. I know only the retail price.

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  • Can you add more of an explanation than three correct examples? – Nathan Tuggy Dec 29 '16 at 3:33
0

Your first sentence is nearly correct because you have missed a "comma" before "one of which ". You can use the following versions :

1) There are 2 words, one of which I don't know the meaning.

2) There are 2 words. One of that, I don't know the meaning.

Hope it helps :)

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