But there is more detail nevertheless, perhaps a stronger connotation of the sort of person Maddy is.

I think in the last part "the sort of person Maddy is", there is omission of "that" between person and Maddy:

person that or whom Maddy is

But I am not sure if this is correct or not and this kind of style which is very short after relative conjuntion has been rare to me.

  • Your example is OK, You could also have the subordinator "that" or the relative pronoun, "who". The relativised element functions as predicative complement in the relative clause, so "whom" would be wrong here.
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 10:24
  • Thx. what could be an antecedent of "that"? sort or person ?
    – gomadeng
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 10:50
  • Yes, the nominal "sort of person".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 11:07
  • 'subordinator 'that' is different from relative cluase? 'that' is also a relative pronoun and can be substituted for relative pronouns like 'who' and 'whom'.
    – gomadeng
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 1:12
  • No: "That" is a subordinator, not a relative pronoun.
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


The sort of person you are talking about


The sort of person that you are talking about

is a very common ellipsis in English. The relative pronoun “that” refers back to “sort.”

When “who” is meant, it is not dropped

The sort of person who complains a lot

cannot be shortened. The “who” refers back to “person.”

The sort of person whom Maddie is

is straight out ungrammatical.

  • You mean in "the sort of person that Maddie is", that refers back to "sort"?
    – gomadeng
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 23:44
  • “Whom” is incorrect in the specific sentence given as an example. It is not the object of “is,” which is intransitive and never has an object. Any of “sort of person that,” “sort of person who,” and “sort of person whom” may be correct. It depends on context. Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 23:51
  • I understand as in my example, "that" refers to "sort" so "who", "whom" is not correct in my example here.
    – gomadeng
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 0:04
  • Yes. You have it. The distinction between "that" and "who" or "whom" is very subtle. I doubt that good native speakers would always agree on the better choice. I venture as a suggestion that if what is being described is something the person does or is something done to a person, use "who" or "whom," and it what is being described is a reaction to a person, use "that." "She is the sort of person who talks all the time." "She is the sort of person to whom accidents happen." "She is the sort of person that drives me crazy." These are not rules, but my personal preferences. Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 19:15

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