1

The assembly was called to propose a universal land tax in which the higher classes would no longer be exempt from.

A friend of mine wrote the sentence above. He believes it is grammatically correct. (We both agree that the "which" in the sentence refers to that universal tax.)

Since the phrase "exempt from in which" does not make sense because of the two consecutive prepositions, "from " and "in", I believe the sentence is grammatically incorrect. In fact, I went on further to say since it was such an obvious basic mistake and that he could not readily agree with me after I explained why it is incorrect, his English grammar must be pretty bad, although his English is much better mine otherwise.

  • Grammarly showed me "it appears that the prepositions from may be unnecessary in this context. Consider removing it."
  • GrammarCheck commented on other matters.
  • Reverso showed "No mistake detected!"
  • The Virtual Writing Tutor showed "Error count: 0".
  • Scribens commented on other matters.
  • LanguageTool showed "No errors were found."
  • Ginger Software showed "We did not find errors in your text. There might still be some that we couldn’t identify for sure".
  • Grammarix showed "No errors were found".
  • Grammar showed "Great work! No errors were found."
  • PerfectTense didn't offer any suggestions.

Is the usage of "in which ... be exempt from" in the sentence correct? What about those online grammar checkers?

2

He has too many prepositions and not enough objects. It needs one less preposition or one more object, which can be shown more clearly by recasting the clause as a sentence.

It would make sense to write:

The assembly was called to propose a new law in which the higher classes would no longer be exempt from universal land tax.

because it would make sense to write:

The higher classes would no longer be exempt from universal land tax in the new law.

but his sentence would mean

The higher classes would no longer be exempt from in a universal land tax.

It would be correct, however, to say

The assembly was called to propose a universal land tax from which the higher classes would no longer be exempt.

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2

I wouldn't put too much faith into "grammar checkers" online. Language is complex. Grammar and syntax, for example, can be easily manipulated, especially in conversational speech; the same word can have multiple meanings, which will completely change the sense of a sentence when used incorrectly; words or sentences can have varying levels of formality, reflecting poor manners in a speaker if proper formality is not followed. These are things that cause problems for computer translation (I'm looking at you, Google Translate), "grammar checkers," and other types of services.

Now, to your question:

When you use "in which," that's because you're trying to remove the preposition "in" from the end of your sentence. This would mean that you're trying to say:

The assembly was called to propose a universal land tax which the higher classes would no longer be exempt in.

As you can probably guess, this doesn't make sense at all. In this case, the verb "exempt" must be followed by the preposition from, not in. This means that the word "in" needs to be removed from the sentence, like so:

The assembly was called to propose a universal land tax from which the higher classes would no longer be exempt.

Another way to think about this is to write multiple sentences describing the idea or ideas separately:

The assembly was called to propose a universal land tax.

Higher classes will no longer be exempt from this land tax.

Then, you can bring the ideas together into one sentence.

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