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I'm not a native English speaker, so my question might seem trivial. Anyway, I always thought "whose" would require no article for the following noun. To my surprise, it seems expressions like "a man whose the name is Bob" are quite common (on web pages at least).

edit: for examples of use, a simple google search on "whose the name" will yield results like

"the metadata object is added as a sibling name/value pair whose the name is the symbol..."

"this collection represents the birth of this herbarium whose the name is a recognition of his prominent contribution to the knowledge of the Haitian flora"

"Benghazi, a city whose the name derives from the Greek Berenike directly"

So my questions are:

  • is adding the article a common way of saying?
  • is that specific to some nouns or could you use it with anything, e.g. "whose the cat is black", "whose the height is 2m" ?
  • is there a difference of meaning between the two variants?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jun 23 '17 at 12:14

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • I have never heard an expression with the article "the" used in this way. I would consider it incorrect, although I can't specify why; it just sounds wrong. Do you have a link to any of the web pages where you saw this? – vpn Jun 22 '17 at 21:47
  • @vpn see my edit. Frankly that sounds wrong to me too, but I've seen it in an otherwise pretty good song translation, so I just wondered if it could be used in some cases. I was quite surprised to see a google search yield so many positive results. That made me think the question was worth asking. – kuroi neko Jun 22 '17 at 22:01
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    @kuroineko If I search Google for "whose the name is", including the quotes, the first estimate is 750,000 results, but by page 5 of the results it has gone down to 49. – Andrew Leach Jun 22 '17 at 22:15
  • I guess that "whose the name" is rather british than american, because near France where one says : "Dont le nom" – Baiwir Jun 22 '17 at 22:27
  • @Mari-Lou A that would actually answer all my three questions at once :). I'm sorry if I broke some rule. I just wanted to know whether this was a case of widespread bad English or not. – kuroi neko Jun 23 '17 at 0:40
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"Whose the name" is absolutely wrong!

"Whose" is a possessive that means "belongs to, is associated with or is a part of". "Whose" cannot be followed by an article.

  • This is the tree whose leaves turned blue somehow.
  • I am the man whose name is known to everyone.
  • Sorry for picking the wrong stackexchange community to begin with, and thanks for the confirmation. – kuroi neko Jun 24 '17 at 9:56
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I can think of no sentence in which "whose the name" would be proper. I've edited your examples to get rid of the offending phrase:

"the metadata object is added as a sibling name/value pair, in which the name is the symbol..."

"this collection represents the birth of this herbarium; the name is a recognition of his prominent contribution to the knowledge of the Haitian flora"

"Benghazi, a city whose name derives from the Greek Berenike"

  • I'm really sorry about that, I meant no offense. I just picked three sentences more or less at random and did not pay enough attention to their meaning. – kuroi neko Jun 23 '17 at 0:34
  • @kuroi neko: To clarify, the word "offending" in this context doesn't mean that you caused netwit offense. It is just being used to mean that the usage "offends" (breaks the rules of) English grammar. – sumelic Jun 23 '17 at 16:54
  • I'm so sorry, Kuroi Neko, that I led you to believe I was offended. I was not! As Sumelic was kind enough to explain, the verb "to offend" also means "to break a rule." – netwit Jun 23 '17 at 23:50

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