This assumption which I know is true (or which I know it is true?) made me change my opinion on the matter.

Which seems to be the subject of is whereas the direct object of I know is which is true. Yet for some reason I always feel tempted to put an it before is true? Is it incorrect?

  • Thanks for the link. Relative clauses are not so difficult to understand, I just got confused by the presence of another clause within the relative clause. – fev Dec 5 '20 at 9:01
  • The descriptive approach to linguistics demands that no utterance be deemed incorrect. Native speakers don't make errors, though maybe mistakes. If you feel that this it is correct, the answer better explained how. Saying that it should be incorrect can anyhow not rest on the mere preference of another construction, if they might be saying different things, however slight the difference maybe. "The assumption, it is true" for example only depends on the intonation. The assumption it is not an acceptable noun phrase for a subject, but that would be missing the whole point. – vectory Dec 6 '20 at 11:52

which I know merely describes assumption. So the sentence basically reads The assumption is true. You certainly won't phrase the sentence as The assumption it is true.

  • But my logical mind says 'I do not know the assumption, I know that the assumption is true. So yes, which does describe assumption, but I know seems to be connected with the all the rest, with the assumption is true. – fev Dec 5 '20 at 9:03
  • In that case you could say The assumption is true. You simply elide the clausal element which is true. – User40475 Dec 5 '20 at 11:19
  • Yes, this is a fair way to put it, although we lose the detail that I know brings. However, my question is not how to avoid this ambiguity through omission, but how to use the actual structure in a grammatically correct way which makes sense. – fev Dec 5 '20 at 11:26

No, the sentence is fine because "which I know is true" means "which I know to be true". Just leave out the "I know"—"The assumption which is true", then, just means "The true assumption", so that whole subordinate clause is just an adjective. "Which I know it is true" is simply ungrammatical.


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