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"This game will be decided by which team has the better strikers."

I am not at all sure if this is grammatical and there are certainly easier ways to say this like "The team with the better strikers will win this game." The long phrase after "by" just seems wrong to me.

Nonetheless I want to know whether this makes sense or is wrong.

  • Tell us why you think it's wrong. – user178049 Mar 8 '17 at 14:13
  • By being followed by that long a description which is not a gerund phrase just sounds wrong to me. – ChadThunder Mar 8 '17 at 14:18
  • Hi Chad - I added your comment to your question. Understanding which part of the sentence seems wrong to you can help folks write better answers. If what I wrote isn't quite right, please feel free to edit your question to fix it. – ColleenV Mar 8 '17 at 14:46
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    Yes, it's fine. The expression "which team has the better strikers" is a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question). The meaning is "This game will be decided by the answer to the question 'Which team has the better strikers?" – BillJ Mar 8 '17 at 18:29
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I would phrase this as:

"This game will be decided by the team that has the better strikers."

By putting the "that" (or "which") after the phrase "the team", the sentence flows more naturally like a statement.

However, phrasing it like the original question "... which team has ..." makes it sound like a question.

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