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This movie clip starts with a teacher saying this line:

(1) Okay, now that we've finished our tests, I want you all to start thinking about our fifth grade science fair projects, which you will need to work on to have ready after spring break.

Where the relative clause is shown in bold and its antecedent is our fifth grade science fair projects.

Now, can you insert a pronoun (them) that refers back to our fifth grade science fair projects after either work on or have as follows?

(2) Okay, now that we've finished our tests, I want you all to start thinking about our fifth grade science fair projects, which you will need to work on them to have ready after spring break.

(3) Okay, now that we've finished our tests, I want you all to start thinking about our fifth grade science fair projects, which you will need to work on to have them ready after spring break.

Is (2) or (3) or both natural English or even grammatical?

If grammatical and natural, how natural are they compared to (1)?

  • Today we're going to study calculus, which you'll need to know to pass your exams. Nothing unusual about that phrasing (or your teacher's original). Your rephrasing #2 is grammatically invalid in modern English (but would have been acceptable to some Victorian dialect speakers). And whilst explicitly identifying the object them in #3 is okay, it's not required. – FumbleFingers Apr 3 '18 at 16:53
  • @FumbleFingers Your example has only one gap. How about this? Today we're going to study calculus, which you'll need to know to pass your exams on. vs. Today we're going to study calculus, which you'll need to know to pass your exams on it. – listeneva Apr 3 '18 at 16:57
  • @FumbleFingers So, (3) is less natural than (1)? – listeneva Apr 3 '18 at 16:58
  • As implied by the last sentence of my first comment, #3 is neither more nor less "natural" than "re-identifying" the object. In your case the object is our fifth grade science fair projects - which you've already referred back to with which (but doing it again with them is perfectly okay too). The difference between including it in your comment example is that this implies the exams are primarily testing calculus skills, whereas without it those skills might be a relatively minor aspect (but still necessary in order to pass). – FumbleFingers Apr 3 '18 at 17:29
  • ...but I have to say that it's not really worth you thinking about the merits of #1 as opposed to #3 (trivial details, imho) unless and until you have a clear understanding of why your suggested #2 is completely unacceptable. In which context you might want to have a look at this ELU question about unusual / outdated use of which. – FumbleFingers Apr 3 '18 at 17:34

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