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Can a conjunction be the object of the second clause? Example: Do it wherever you are

here "wherever" acts as a conjunction and it is the object of the second clause? Am I right?

  • Wherever you are in that sentence is not a conjunction. I would call it an adverbial phrase. – Robusto Oct 8 '17 at 20:04
  • @BillJ Now I am online – BoSsYyY Oct 9 '17 at 15:41
  • The tree diagram in my answer below may help you to understand the structure of the preposition phrase "wherever you are". – BillJ Oct 9 '17 at 17:33
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Do it wherever you are.

Tree Diagram of PP IN Fused Relative Construction

The expression "wherever you are" is a PP (preposition phrase) functioning as an adjunct (a modifier) in the structure of the sentence, which here is of a special kind called a 'fused relative construction'.

Within the PP, the complement of "are" is a locative complement (marked by 'gap') which is cross-indexed with 'i ' to the head "wherever", called the prenucleus.

  • preposition ? The dictionary shows that "wherever" is only a conjunction and an adverb? – BoSsYyY Oct 9 '17 at 19:21
  • Traditional grammar classifies "where" and "wherever" as relative adverbs in examples like yours, but modern grammar analyses them as prepositions. But it makes no difference to the structure of the tree diagram. – BillJ Oct 10 '17 at 7:04
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Wherever is neither a conjunction nor an object.

The clause wherever you are is a fused relative clause acting as a locative adjunct—an adverbial—to the main clause Do it.

Syntactically wherever is a relativizer signalling a 'gap'—a missing constituent in the clause, to be 'filled in' by the hearer.

You are _

Semantically, wherever is a 'pro-form' standing for a locative preposition phrase in the same way that a pronoun stands for a noun phrase. It's roughly equivalent to (at) whatever place, with the determinative whatever fused with an implicit locative nominal.

Whatever implies then a locative preposition phrase in the gap (marked above by _), which in that clause would be a predicative complement:

You are there.

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Conjunctions cannot be objects. Objects have to be nouns or noun phrases.

There are words that are somewhat conjunctions and somewhat pronouns - these are relative pronouns.

I want to know which one do you want.

The which works as both a pronoun (filling in the X for I want to know X) and conjunction linking I want to know to which one do you want.

Wherever is not a relative pronoun but where can be ...

I looked where he told me to.

Because wherever doesn't have a linking function, a that can appear there (often elided) if wherever is used, but not where:

I looked wherever [that] he told me to.

I looked where that he told me to (doesn't work).

  • You said that "Conjunctions cannot be objects" then what is this "He gave me the ball that I wanted" Isn't here "that" acting like a conjunction and object at the same time? – BoSsYyY Oct 9 '17 at 19:20
  • @BoSsYyY No. Again, this that is a relativizer introducing a relative clause which modifies the direct object the ball. – StoneyB Oct 9 '17 at 20:41

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