From above link,the sentence "Those conquer who believe they can" is strange for me. The relative pronoun "who" is used after the verb "conquer". As far as I know, the relative pronoun is placed after its noun or pronoun.What kind of writing strategies is it?

  • Please do not put (or attempt to put) images of scanned text into your questions. It makes searching impossible. Always copy and paste (or type out) quoted text.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 10:47
  • It sounds to me like it should have been, "Those who conquer believe they can." Are you sure it hadn't just been a typo? Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 11:06
  • I've edited my question.
    – learner
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    "Those conquer who believe they can" is what you typed on Google. None of the results actually use the search as is as they all add something or other somewhere, or use a slightly different sentence. The premise of this question is fallacious.
    – MorganFR
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:39
  • You need to close the sample sentence in quotes, and then Google it. There are about 34 hits for that phrase And many are from sites selling essays....
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


"Those conquer who believe they can" is grammatical, although not especially easy to understand at first glance.

Relative clauses can be postponed and placed after the main verb phrase (see George Walkden's answer on ELU to When is it correct to postpone an attributive clause?). It means the same as "Those who believe they can conquer, conquer".

  • +1 I think it isn't easy at first glance because it could be read in another way. For example, we wouldn't read People eat people who eat people as People who eat people eat people the first time we saw it. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:57
  • @DamkerngT.: I think the presence of a direct object changes the viability of this construction.
    – sumelic
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:28

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