1.He invented a business plan which companies can employ (to earn profits.)

I bracketed the part which I think is the purpose adjunct,
the understood subject of the infinitive is companies, right?

can the relative clause be viewed as:
Companies can employ the business plan to earn profits?

2.He is asked to investigate [what the police believe to be the root of the crime] (to discover the truth.)

The first infinitive to be the root of the crime,
the understood subject is relative pronoun what,right?
Can the noun phrase be viewed as:
The police believe what to be the root of the crime?

The second infinitive to discover the truth is a purpose adjunct,
and the understood subject is he?

  • Sorry, I made a mistake: It can be: He is asked to interrogate [some person]. OR He is asked to interrogate [some person] to discover the truth. I see now that the bits in parenthesis and brackets were explanatory.
    – Lambie
    Mar 24, 2019 at 14:33
  • to use or make use of a business plan, not employ it.
    – Lambie
    Jan 11 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


He invented a business plan [which companies can employ (to earn profits) profits].

Your analyses are essentially correct.

He is asked to interrogate [who the police believe to be the suspect (to discover the truth.)]

Unfortunately, this sentence is ungrammatical. The element in square brackets is a 'fused' relative construction, a noun phrase. But in today's Standard English fused "who" is more or less restricted to the particular use called the 'free choice' construction, as in You can bring [who(ever) you like].

  • Thanks, I am so happy to find out my first analyses are correct! I changed the ungrammatical sentence and used what to lead the noun phrase, and modified my analyses accordingly. Are the sentence and analyses both correct now?
    – 黃冠霖
    Mar 24, 2019 at 14:33
  • Okay, but the system doesn't permit me to delete it, i will post a new one again.
    – 黃冠霖
    Mar 24, 2019 at 15:34
  • This is a wh-cleft construction, and one of its restrictions is that, whereas what and many other wh-words can occur in it, who can't. What you want is not here/*Who you're looking for is not here. Sep 13, 2023 at 20:07

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