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1. I love an intellectual player of cricket who has two brothers. 2. I love an intellectual player of cricket that requires 22 players.

are the two sentences grammatically correct? I know the relative pronoun indicates/represents the noun/pronoun just before it. But my question is about, in the first sentence, relative pronoun who indicates a player but not cricket,doesn't it? I'm confused about the rule I know. If the relative pronoun who represents the noun before it, it should represent cricket but it's imposible as cricket cann't have brother.

  • You might try cricket player, which is more common and idiomatic, and then your question is moot. – Lambie Mar 6 at 18:46
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Your first example has a restrictive relative pronoun that shouldn't be preceded by a comma.

So in your example, "Who" refers to the part the preceding it which is "an intellectual player of cricket". It acts as one complete part.

About your second example, you didn't quite use the relative pronoun properly. Although it is defining "cricket", it is disconnected from the first part of your sentence completely. I understand that it relates to it, but that is not indicated in its current structure. Thus, @Lambie suggests you rewrite it like this:

I like one player out of 22 cricket players.


Reference

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The sentences are syntactically correct.

This is how they would typically be interpreted as written:

1. I love an intellectual player of cricket who has two brothers.

I love a cricket player. This cricket player is intellectual and has two brothers.

Here, who refers to the person. While whose can refer to inanimate objects (the tree whose leaves were green), who can only refer to personified objects—people, as well as animals or mechanical object to which some kind of personhood have been ascribed. So, the closest meaningful noun is player.

2. I love an intellectual player of cricket that requires 22 players.

I love a cricket player. The game of cricket that this person plays requires 22 players.

It's possible for that to refer to a person (I like the baker that uses real whipped cream)—even though many people would stylistically prefer the use of who. But in this construction, it's more likely for that to refer to cricket because of its placement.


Having said that, it is possible for the that in the second sentence to be interpreted as belonging to the cricket player instead. However, it would then lose some of its meaning:

To rephrase it slightly:

I love an intellectual cricket player who requires 22 players.

The syntax is now unambiguous, but the meaning isn't clear. It's not clear what the cricket player requires 22 players for. (Although we can assume it has something to do with the game of cricket, it conceivably has to do with something else.)


In short, the first sentence is fine.

But the second sentence should be rephrased in order to make it less awkward. If it means what I said it would typically be interpreted as meaning, then something like this would be better:

2. a) I love an intellectual player of cricket games that require 22 players.

Here, because of subject-verb agreement, we know it's cricket games (plural) that require (plural) 22 players, not the intellectual player (singular) who requires (singular) them.

Or, a clarified version of my earlier rephrased sentence could be used:

2. b) I love an intellectual player of cricket who requires 22 players in each game.

  • If I rewrite the first sentence in this way, "I love an intellectual player of cricket games who has two brothers". Is it a correct sentence? I'm confused about whether it be HAS or HAVE? – Mohammad Abul Hasem Mar 7 at 8:34
  • @MohammadAbulHasem Yes. The subject of the sentence is player, so the verb form is has. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Mar 7 at 15:09

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