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  • The girl, whom I love, passes from in front of my house daily.

Is this sentence grammatical? I want to say that a girl goes to her destination but she passes from in front of house on her way. How should I say it? I know something is wrong with the sentence.

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    You pass from a starting point, so from is very unlikely, unless she sleeps in front of your house every night. Jan 26, 2014 at 7:00
  • hahhahh.... your sense of humour is extremely good.
    – hellodear
    Jan 26, 2014 at 7:02
  • The first part is ok, the second needs a little work. the girl, whom I love, passes in front of my house daily. is probably the closest to your intended meaning. But I'd recommend using a different verb. walks by my house every day or drives past my house or rides by my house ...something like that. You don't need the whom either: The girl I love, walks by my house every morning.
    – Jim
    Jan 26, 2014 at 7:03
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    It can also mean 'past'. See Oxford Dictionaries Online, 5.1 Jan 26, 2014 at 7:19
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    hellodear: I think Stoney explained why you shouldn't use from in his opening comment. Also, I would omit the commas, and the whom: The girl I love passes in front of my house every day. (Adding whom isn't incorrect, but it isn't necessary, either.) As for "in front of" vs "by": A shop that's in front of my house is also by my house, but not every shop by my house is in front of my house (the shop could be beside my house, or in back of my house, and still be "by" my house). By indicates proximity; in front of indicates proximity and direction.
    – J.R.
    Jan 26, 2014 at 10:29

2 Answers 2

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The sentence is correct except for the commas and one or two words.

There should be no commas around the relative clause whom I love because this is a defining relative clause - it is necessary to the meaning of the sentence.

In English, you put commas around a relative clause if it adds additional information. But this information doesn't change the meaning of the sentence.

My neighbor*, whose name is John,* is very friendly and helpful.

The relative clause in this sentence is a non-defining relative clause. It just tells us something more about the noun neighbor, but it isn't necessary to the meaning of what you want to say. If you take the relative clause whose name is John out of the sentence, the sentence still says what you want to say.

My neighbor is very friendly and helpful.

Let's take your sentence:

The girl, whom I love, passes in front of my house daily.

If we take out the relative clause whom I love , the meaning of the sentence changes.

The girl passes in front of my house daily.

The relative clause whom I love is a defining relative clause. That means, it defines the noun (the girl) very clearly. She's the girl you love, not just some girl who walks by your house every day. So, don't put commas around that clause because it's important to the meaning of the sentence.

The girl who/whom I love passes by my house every day.

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  • You'll find comma rules in English grammar books and online websites. But not all native speakers agree with these rules. Many rules were established a long time ago, so some people argue that they're outdated and that they even don't make any sense. In German, for example, a defining relative clause must be set off with commas, while there should be no commas around it in English. This is hard for German learners of English to understand and then learn. But when you're teaching people who'll be translating, this difference is important for them to know.
    – Babs
    Jan 29, 2014 at 11:14
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The girl, whom I love, passes from in front of my house daily.

"Whom I love" can be useful for a particular effect. You can shorten it for sure, but then it loses your formal voice. Consider the following, inspired by "the girl whom I love":

Each morning, the girl whom I love comes to me from the top of the eastern hill of my street. Her golden red hair breaks the rising sun into yellow streaks of sideways sky.

She walks not, but rather glides with grace while passing in front of my house. And she leaves me each day for the West where the buses meet familiar strangers on their way.

And there, under the heat of the risen sun, diesel engines fire wheels forward to split the city apart.

I see her beauty so clearly in one of those buses with tires rolling hot. Her hair flows down like burning red rain, so close to my hand, in the seat in front of me, and she knows me not.

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