Sentence in question:

A perfume, whose creator says was inspired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has gone on sale in Moscow.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-inspired-perfume-idINKBN0UI26520160104

Has the word "it" been omitted before "was inspired by Russian President Vladimir Putin"? If so, why can it be omitted?

  • 3
    It wasn’t omitted. It can’t be there. It’s the same construction as: “A perfume that Jim says was created ...”
    – Jim
    Feb 1, 2021 at 6:58
  • In your sentence, you have Jim as subject here. As for the sentence in question, there are two verbs, namely "was inspired" and "has gone on sale".
    – transyan
    Feb 1, 2021 at 7:19
  • 1
    It wouldn’t be instructive if I said that it was the same construction as “A perfume whose creator says was created ...”
    – Jim
    Feb 1, 2021 at 7:24
  • Could you follow up on why can't "it" be here. If I say: A perfume, whose creator says (that it) was inspired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has gone on sale in Moscow. It's a perfect sentence though. But without that "it", I cannot understand the structure then.
    – transyan
    Feb 1, 2021 at 7:29

2 Answers 2


If the pronoun it were to be included in the relative clause, it would be considered a resumptive pronoun. Resumptive pronouns are a feature of some languages such as Hebrew but are generally ungrammatical in English. For example:

  • ?The boy, whose mother says [he] plays video games all night, has gone missing.

The following authentic examples follow a similar pattern to the perfume sentence. None of them includes the resumptive pronoun.

  • See Honey G's debut music video which she says was inspired by Eminem.
  • A filter that Snapchat says was inspired by Japanese animation.
  • A strawberry red which RBL says was inspired by the great Harpers B and Vogue editor.
  • The rich material palette, which the designer says was inspired by Christian Liaigre.


  • Thanks for pointing out the notion of resumptive pronoun for me.
    – transyan
    Feb 2, 2021 at 1:48

The main thought is “A perfume was inspired ...”.

The perfume is qualified by the relative clause “whose creator says ...”.

The pronoun “”it”, which you suggest might be inserted, is not needed because it would be the subject of “was inspired”.

Here is a part of a helpful account of such issues:

relative pronoun is the subject/object of the relative clause, so we do not repeat the subject/object:

”Marie Curie is the woman who {she} discovered radium.” (who is the subject of discovered, so we don't need {she})

”This is the house {that} Jack built it.” ({that} is the object of built, so we don't need it)

British Council

  • I can understand the two examples you listed above. But are you saying "whose creator says" has the similar function as relative pronouns like "that/which"?I don't think I understand though.
    – transyan
    Feb 1, 2021 at 8:32
  • The main sentence is "A perfume (...) has gone on sale." The bit saying "whose creator says was inspired by W. P." explains something about the perfume. (Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/50962/…)
    – Conrado
    Feb 1, 2021 at 12:17

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