2
 1) That is something    I believe/think    called "PJP".
 2) That is the man who  I believe/think    called "Peter".
 3) That is the man who  I believe/think is called "Peter".
 4) That is the man whom I believe/think    called "Peter".
 5) That is the man whom I believe/think is called "Peter".

I'm pretty sure that the first one is correct but the others are confusing me. Which one is correct and why?

  • It seems that two different questions arise from your examples: 1) use of the object relative pronouns (who/whom/Ø) and 2) use of passive voice (called/is called). Can you be more specific as to what is bothering you? – Laure Mar 16 '14 at 8:47
  • I know rules but in this case I'm not sure whether "the man" is subject or object. – user2747502 Mar 16 '14 at 8:56
  • Why do you hesitate between "called" ans "is called"? – Laure Mar 16 '14 at 9:15
  • If I don't use "I think/believe " . I can write the sentence like these : 1 )" ... The man called "Peter" " . 2 ) "...The man who is called "Peter" ". But using "I think/believe " make me confused. I searched on google and there is no result of those phrases. What do you think? – user2747502 Mar 16 '14 at 9:31
  • I think only 3 works. – Damkerng T. Mar 16 '14 at 9:53
2

1

That is the man who (I believe) is called "Peter".

That is the man who (I believe) called "Peter".

Both sentences mean different things:

That is the man who (I believe) called "Peter".

According to what I think, the man I'm designating (→ that) called (on the phone, across, the road, or by another means) "Peter". The man and "Peter" are two different persons.

That is the man who (I believe) is called "Peter".

According to what I think, the man I'm designating (→ that) is called (→ goes by the name of) "Peter". The man and "Peter" are one person.

The fact that you moderate your opinion using "I think" or "I believe" has no effect on the grammatical structure. You could use commas around "I believe" or have it at the beginning of the sentence:

That is the man who, I believe, is called "Peter".

I think that is the man who is called "Peter".

The object of "I think" is the whole sentence: "that is the man who is called "Peter""

In both sentences "who" is subject of "called" / "is called". We can either use "who" or "that" ("who" is more common than "that") but not "whom".

2

"Whom" is a relative pronoun that can only be used when the relative pronoun is object.

That is the man whom (I believe) I saw talking to Peter.

In that case, the relative pronoun is object and we can use either "who", "that" "whom", or omit the relative pronoun altogether.

Purists will say that since the relative pronoun standing for a person is object we should only use "whom". But "whom" is very little used nowadays and sounds very formal. We consider using "who" for relative pronoun object as correct nowadays.

3

That is something I believe/think called "PJP".

Sounds weird to my ears, we would not normally split "something" from it's modifying adjective "called". I'd rather use commas around "I think" or have it at the beginning of the sentence.

That is something, I believe, called "PJP".

That is something — I believe — called "PJP".

I believe that is something called "PJP".

(last paragraph edited after StoneyB's comment)

  • +1+ Outstanding. You might expand your 3 to explain why I believe/think has to be bracketed with commas or dashes or parentheses: because it interrupts the relationship between the participle and the NP it modifies. – StoneyB Mar 16 '14 at 14:08
0

The two phrases are almost completely interchangeable. To say you "believe" something as opposed to saying that you "think" the same thing only adds a very subtle flavor to the meaning of the line. To "believe" suggests that your belief comes from more than a line from Google. There is something about you that accepts the line to be true.

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