1. This is the flyover whose inauguration was done by the transport minister.
  2. This is the flyover inauguration of which was done by the transport minister.

why 2. is correct??


Neither of those sentences is grammatically correct, but "whose" usually refers to people and "of which" most often refers to things.


Sentence 2 does not sound grammatical. Something like this would be better: "This is the flyover the inauguration of which was done by the transport minister." You need a the in there - think of replacing the which with the subject, the flyover, for an equivalent meaning: "This is the inauguration of the flyover that was done by the transport minister." But sentence 1 is also grammatical. Honestly, the (corrected version of) sentence 2 sounds too formal and awkward for a normal person to say. I would prefer sentence 1. Who says sentence 1 is incorrect? See also: https://www.grammar.com/whose-and-of-which/

  • My book said sentence 1 is not correct but it do not give any explanation for this. – mannu Feb 1 '19 at 18:29
  • What book are you using? It is true that "whose" usually refers to people and "of which" refers to things, but "whose" can also indicate possession by inanimate objects if, like in your sentence 2, the alternative sounds wordy and awkward. – Mixolydian Feb 1 '19 at 18:35
  • well i m using local book :neetu singh for competitive exam – mannu Feb 1 '19 at 18:40

The first is semantically incorrect, because a flyover is not a "who". There is no equivalent for inanimate objects, which may be why a lot of speakers will actually use it even for inanimate objects, so you might hear the first sentence from a native speaker and no-one think much of it.

There's a relatively rare and not usually accepted equivalent of whose for inanimate objects, which is that's. This word would be an instance of the genitive suffix -'s, used to indicate possession or close association. Unfortunately, there's also the suffix -'s used to show a contraction of is, has or sometimes does, and people generally use that's in the sense of a contraction of is or has. This may be why genitive that's is not generally accepted.

The second sentence would be correct with the addition of a comma, optionally adding another word as well, and some would accept that word being added without the comma.

There are other ways of saying what they are trying to say, though, which would seem more natural.

  • "Whose" is not just used as the possessive of "who" (as you go on to mention in your post) so I don't agree with the first sentence here. The most upvoted answers to the ELU question Can “whose” refer to an inanimate object? say that it is not incorrect to use "whose" with an inanimate antecedent. – sumelic Feb 1 '19 at 21:07
  • I know some people are fine with it. As I mentioned on another recent comment, English grammar is something which is subject to debate even among those who study it. Grammar depends on dialect, and dialects mutate over time. I know they people I speak to on a daily basis would consider "whose" incorrect for an inanimate antecedent. I know some people don't, as the answer acknowledges. – SamBC Feb 1 '19 at 21:10

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