1. The sentence "What I was hoping that would happen?" is possible? If possible, what is the function of that? Is it one of relative pronouns or what?

  2. My understanding for "What I was hoping would happen?" is that the question type of an affirmative clause of the sentence.

Please let me know about the details of grammar related to tricky "that" thing.

  • Would you please give us more detail about the context(s)?
    – WXJ96163
    Apr 7, 2020 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


"What I was hoping would happen" is a relative clause. It could be used in a sentence like this:
"This is what I was hoping would happen." or like this
"What I was hoping would happen actually happened."
That clause has a relative pronoun "what", that connects it to the main clause of the sentence.
Your example number 1 has both "what" and "that", and the example is not correct.

Example 2 isn't a question. A question form would have this word order:
"What was I hoping would happen?"

  • Thanks for your beautiful answer. What I was hoping *that would happen cannot be correct in a grammatical manner. Is it right?
    – david
    Apr 8, 2020 at 8:04
  • Yes, that's correct. Apr 8, 2020 at 10:36
  • Really appreciated your answer. Have a good one!
    – david
    Apr 8, 2020 at 19:29

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