4

How lovely is the gift that I've received from him!

or

How lovely the gift is that I've received from him!

Following 'relative pronoun' aspect which one is correct? In the first sentence 'gift' is close to 'that' which refers to the word 'gift' but problem is that in exclamation 'is' should go at the end i.e. after the word 'gift'. In the second sentence, 'is' at the right position where it should be in an exclamatory sentence but it [the word 'is'] separates the two words i.e. the noun 'gift' and the relative pronoun 'that' which should have been right after one another. What is the solution?

2

All of the proposed versions of this sentence are grammatically acceptable (either putting 'is' after 'lovely', after 'gift', or at the very end) but all of them are stylistically awkward in modern English. A more natural way to phrase this meaning would be:

What a lovely gift I've received from him!

or better still, invert 'received' to avoid the passive construction:

What a lovely gift he's sent me!

1

"How lovely the gift is that I've received from him!" is slightly better than "How lovely is the gift that I've received from him!", as "How lovely is the gift that I've received from him!" is the phrasing that would typically be used for asking someone else about the loveliness, or lack thereof, of the gift.

However, both of those phrasings are likely to confuse most native English speakers (source: I am a native English speaker); a better option would be

How lovely the gift that I've received from him is!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.