2

I read a speaking book and I saw this sentence:

I am planning to pursue my education in Australia and the university to which I have applied requires IELTS score 7 to let me get in.

but I dont understand "to" role before "which" in this sentence

  • 1
    It should become clear if you think about that clause as a standalone sentence: I have to applied to a university. (and The university requires ...) – Damkerng T. May 29 '15 at 12:42
1

You might want to check out relative pronouns first

After you got that, you should know that the which after to refers to the university. And that the original sentence,

a) I am planning to pursue my education in Australia and the university to which I have applied requires IELTS score 7 to let me get in.

, can be rewritten and divided into two sentences. Notice the bold to of the second sentence.

b) I am planning to pursue my education in Australia. c) The university I have applied requires IELTS score 7 to let me get in to.

Merging the two sentences above using the relative pronoun, which, to refer to the university, we get

d) I am planning to pursue my education in Australia and the university which I have applied requires IELTS score 7 to let me get in to.

Notice how which serves both as a conjunction and a pronoun for the university And note that the bold to is still at the same position as it was in sentence c). Next, just by the grammar rule (see the Wikipedia page I suggested in the beginning at -> Overview -> 6. for more details or here for more examples), we can move that preposition, to, to just before which. Then we're done!

a) I am planning to pursue my education in Australia and the university to which I have applied requires IELTS score 7 to let me get in.

Key takeaways here: the sole reason that the to is there because it was part of the original seperated sentence b), and because in b), you get in to a university, the purpose of to is just for collocation. To get in to a university is just an expression of saying that you're accepted by a university.

3

The to does not really have to do anything with which here and it can even be placed on several different places in the sentence. The reason it's there is because the verb in the subclause is to apply to (a university).

You can place it on different places:

  • ...the university to which I have applied...
  • ...the university which I have applied to...

Or with that instead of which, though the preposition then only has one possible place:

  • ...the university that I have applied to...

Maybe the difference becomes clearer when I use a verb with a different preposition, for example to study at (a university):

  • The university at which I am currently studying.
  • The university which I am currently studying at.
2

To apply to or to apply for

1request [intransitive] to make a formal request, usually written, for something such as a job, a place in a university, or permission to do something apply for

She applied for a job with the local newspaper.

We need to apply for planning permission to build a garage.

apply to

I applied to four universities and was accepted by all of them.

I'd call it a collocation; in English you simply have to remember (learn by usage that is) the combinations of prepositions that follow verbs in certain contexts.


If you are confused why the preposition to is preceding the word which - in your example which is a relative pronoun, that (which) stands in the place of 'university' as Damkerng T. pointed out. "To" can be moved to the end-position (you can put it at the end of the sentence while retaining the same meaning). You can find examples of that in this question.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.