1

Consider:

Iranian have a traditional medical system whose basis is eating the right foods.

Is it correct? Now what if I want to say "one of its basis"? How can I use "whose" there?

What about these options:

Iranian have a traditional medical system in which eating the right foods is one of the basis.

Iranian have a traditional medical system where eating the right foods is one of the basis.

Iranian have a traditional medical system that eating the right foods is one of the basis.

Iranian have a traditional medical system that eating the right foods is one of its basis.

Iranian have a traditional medical system that one of its basis is eating the right foods.

  • 1
    You need "one of whose bases" (note the plural form), and also "Iranians", so: "Iranians have a traditional medical system, one of whose bases is eating the right foods." – Mick Dec 30 '16 at 15:00
  • @mick what about the others, is any possible or common? – Ahmad Dec 30 '16 at 15:11
  • All the sentences don't sound idiomatic. You can say ...........system, a basis of which is eating...... or ...............system that has a basis of eating.......... – Khan Dec 30 '16 at 15:23
  • Iran has a traditional medical system which is based on eating the right foods. – Tom B Dec 30 '16 at 15:27
1

I've always disliked using this kind of structures, "There is A, which is ..." or "There is A, whose ..." One (informal) "rule" of good English style is to eliminate excess words where possible, often by using the right verb:

Iran has a traditional medical system based (primarily) on eating the right foods.

Still, that doesn't answer your question. In addition to your first sentence, which is correct, here are some other possibilities:

... medical system, one of whose bases is eating the right foods.

... medical system whose bases include eating the right foods, (etc.)

... medical system, whose principles are based on such things as eating the right foods, (etc.)

... medical system, the basis of which is eating the right foods.

... medical system, in which eating the right foods is a basic tenet.

... medical system, which is based on eating the right foods.

... medical system, one of the bases of which is eating the right foods.

... medical system, which has as its basis a belief in eating the right foods.

... medical system, where eating the right foods is considered a basic tenet.

and so on. There are many more.

You can see that all of these say much the same thing as my first sentence, but are more "wordy". Again, this is about style not grammar, so there's nothing wrong with being wordy. It's just a personal choice.

Note also the different use of basis and bases (which may be confusing because they sound alike). Basis is singular -- there should only be one basis for something. Bases is plural, for things that are based on various other things.

  • Great answer, but you omitted "one of whose bases" pointed by Mick. Is that normal too? – Ahmad Dec 30 '16 at 15:25
  • You meant "in which..." is my only correct option? – Ahmad Dec 30 '16 at 15:27
  • Sorry, edited my answer to make it clear that my list isn't comprehensive. "Whose" is fine. Again, a lot of this is personal preference. In this sentence I prefer "in which" to either "where" or "whose", because we're not talking about either a place or a person. But other people use those all the time. – Andrew Dec 30 '16 at 15:37
  • But to be clear I would rewrite the sentence to avoid the need for any of these. For example, "... medical system founded on the belief that (the best way to prevent disease is to eat the right foods)" – Andrew Dec 30 '16 at 15:40
  • 1
    @Ahmad glad I could help. I reordered my list of answers to put at the top the ones that relate to your question. – Andrew Dec 30 '16 at 17:19
1

There is nothing wrong with using whose to refer to inanimate objects.

See Can Whose Refer to Inanimate Objects from English Language & Usage Stack Exchange.

Many people seem to believe that you cannot use whose for inanimate objects, but I don't believe this was ever proscribed except by out-of-control grammarians. Consider the following quotes from Shakespeare (selected from many more quotes where whose refers to an inanimate object) and more recent authors:

And an extensive list follows. This is the highest-voted and accepted answer.

Second in the list is noted tech author @tchrist, who states

English whose is somewhat like Latin cuius or Spanish cuyo in that it is strictly a function word. It is just fine for anything at all.

It's worth reading both answers in depth.

Lagniappe: Here's how to handle basis:

Iranians have a traditional medical system, one of whose bases is eating the right foods.

Bases is the plural form of basis.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.