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  1. I don't quite trust the man [whom you recommend] [who should be sent to work there].
  2. I don't quite trust the man [who you recommend should be sent to work there].
  3. I don't quite trust the man [[whom you recommend] and [who should be sent to work there]] ·
    The first one is from a translation test. I made the second and the third to compare.

I can't figure out the difference between them. My fellow learner says the difference between 1 and 3 is that 1 suggests that you recommended more than one person, while for 3, you recommended only one, which distinction I don't think exists.
Do you think they effectively mean the same thing?

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  • I don't quite understand the question. What is the purpose of the square brackets? Without them, #2 makes sense, but #1 and #3 seem unidiomatic. Even #2 has a redundant should and strictly speaking needs whom rather than who, but those (particularly the latter) are pedantic quibbles.
    – verbose
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 4:55
  • @ I use brackets to show the boundaries of each relative clause. There are two relative clauses in 1 and 3, only one in 2.
    – ForOU
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 5:05
  • Thanks for saying what the square brackets are doing. I'm still having trouble understanding the question. Are you asking which of the three sentences is the most idiomatic? The first and third are not. The second is. You're right though that the first doesn't suggest more than one person.
    – verbose
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 5:14

1 Answer 1

1

Further to @verbose's comments, I add my points.

#3 is convoluted and unnatural, and I do not recommend that.

#1 also sounds unnatural, and I suggest this simplification:

I don't quite trust the man whom you recommend to be sent to work there.

The sentence does not suggest that more than 1 man has been recommended.

#2 has similar meaning as #1.

We can also delete you recommend

I don't quite trust the man who should be sent to work there.

and get a sentence with a slightly different meaning as #1.

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