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Can I simply conclude that a noun must be missing in which/that/who or what clauses, even though the missing noun might be an object behind an infinitive verb, gerund verb or a preposition?

I wrote these following sentences, but I am not sure if they are grammatical or not.

This is not the show that the students want to see.

the infinitive to see here acts as an object of the verb want, but see is a transitive verb , therefore it must be followed by an object, and that represent the missing object, which makes the sentence correct? Right?

This is strategy which people start adopting.

Gerund verb adopting here acts as an object of the verb start, but adopting is a transitive verb , therefore it must be followed by a object ,and which represents the missing object, am I correct?

He is the man whom we have grown sick of.

He is the man whom we have grown sick of talking about.

A noun must always follow a preposition, so even though I placed one preposition behind the PP phrase of talking in the second example , the rule will still apply, which makes the sentence correct?

The students are trying to understand the rules that the teacher judged acceptable.

Judged is a kind of verb that should be followed by an object and a complement,and in the clause we only see the complement instead of the object , and that represents the missing object,which makes the sentence correct, am I right?

  • You must include an article (the or a) before strategy in your second example. Note that the relevant "relativizer" (that, which, whom) is optional in every example (you could simply omit it). But I don't understand exactly what you're asking here. – FumbleFingers Feb 21 at 13:24
  • No, Fionna, "to see" is complement, not object, of "want". The covert relative word is object of "see". – BillJ Feb 21 at 13:35
  • @FumbleFingers I learned that relative pronoun represents a part in a relative clause, so when writing a relative clause, if I make sure something(noun) is missing , the sentence must be correct? – Fionna Feb 21 at 13:41
  • Do you have access to a good grammar book? – BillJ Feb 21 at 13:52
  • @BillJ I have one grammar book written in Chinese, but the example sentences in the book are the simple ones. – Fionna Feb 21 at 13:56
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This is not the show [that the students want to see ___] .

"That" is not a relative pronoun but a subordinator, so in the bracketed relative clause, the '___' notation (called 'gap') indicates the covert presence of the relativised element functioning as object of "see". Gap has "show" as antecedent. Incidentally, the infinitival clause "to see" is complement, not direct object, of "want". Note that clauses cannot be objects.

This is the strategy [which people start adopting ___].

The object of the verb "adopting" is represented by 'gap', which is linked to "which", which has “strategy” as antecedent. Note that "adapting” is complement, not object, of "start".

He is the man [whom we have grown sick of ___].

The complement of the preposition "of" is represented by 'gap', which is linked to the relative pronoun "whom", which has "man" as antecedent.

He is the man [whom we have grown sick of talking about ___].

The complement of the preposition "about" is represented by 'gap', which is linked to the relative pronoun "whom", which has "man" as antecedent.

The students are trying to understand the rules [that the teacher judged ___ acceptable].

The object of "judged" is represented by 'gap', which has "rules" as its antecedent.

  • Thank you so much, so the relative clauses act as an adjective to add information into the noun which precedes it, and those nouns are antecedents, and the antecedents are also the object in the gap, is that right? – Fionna Feb 22 at 10:42
  • By the way, my grammar book says that if infinitive clause is behind a transitive verb, the infinitive clause is an object, but i guess my book is mistaken . – Fionna Feb 22 at 10:44
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    @Fionna Some traditional grammars do, but non-finite clauses that follow another verb are best called 'catenative complements. Please see here: link, and here: link – BillJ Feb 22 at 13:16
  • Okay ! Thanks again , and is my way of understanding your answer correct ? – Fionna Feb 22 at 13:42
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    @Fionna, Yes, relative clauses are sometimes called 'adjective clauses', and yes, the nouns that are located just before the relative clauses are the antecedents. But it's better to say that the relative pronoun (not the antecedent) serves as the object in the relative clause. The meaning of the relative pronoun is provided by the antecedent. – BillJ Feb 22 at 13:59

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