32 votes
Accepted

When is 'what' used for living beings?

Which is ordinarily used when asking for the identity of a specific member or members of a known group: A: The government said they would release three prisoners. B: Which prisoners? There are ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

Why can't I grammatically repeat the object with the pronoun "it"?

What you've heard is correct: "it" is a repeat of "that", and therefore ungrammatical. Here's why. Your sentence has two clauses, and they have a noun in common, "the ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 49.3k
26 votes
Accepted

What does "...was a saint, upon which declaration..." mean in this Wikipedia article?

What is canonization? It is an act. Specifically, it is the act by which the Church declares something—a declaration, then. What does the Church declare? It declares that a person who died was ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Do they wish to personify BBC Worldwide? Or it's merely an ordinary mistake?

I expect that "who" is used because a copyright holder can be a person, and there is no deeper meaning to it. To expand, YouTube handles copyright disputes automatically, and it probably wasn't ...
LMS's user avatar
  • 5,552
22 votes

Do they wish to personify BBC Worldwide? Or it's merely an ordinary mistake?

The idea that who can only apply to individual people is a misapprehension. Although which and that are more common, who is indeed sometimes applied to entities which behave like people, or are ...
choster's user avatar
  • 17.7k
21 votes
Accepted

Is there a golden rule to judge what the word "which" stands for in a sentence?

It's not you. It's them. I'm a mathematician and native English speaker, and I don't understand that sentence. I think that they are trying to say that they use the symbol tan⁻¹ for the 1-1 function ...
hunter's user avatar
  • 5,950
17 votes

Which vs. Whose

The correct word to use here is whose. "As far as I know whose is used for living things and which for non-living things" - that's not correct. We use whose for both living and non-living things (...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.8k
16 votes

I wonder if the sentence is grammatically correct? "I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal." Am I missing something?

I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. I wonder who it was who defined man as a rational animal. I wonder who defined man as a rational animal. Are all grammatically correct versions ...
Peter Jennings's user avatar
15 votes

"Whoever" or "whomever"

In this case, "whoever approved of the decision" is a noun clause. This clause itself is the object of "I shall challenge". The word 'whoever' must take its case from the role it ...
yapatyalata's user avatar
14 votes

Omitting 'that' in this sentence

Others have explained why you can't simply omit the "that". However, in this case it would be idiomatic to omit "that is", leaving "There is so much at stake for many."
Especially Lime's user avatar
13 votes

For who or For whom

While "I" is the subject of the main clause, "who/whom" is part of the relative clause, and refers to the object of the preposition "for". The subject of that clause is &...
gotube's user avatar
  • 49.3k
13 votes

Why there is no object after "make"?

In that sentence, "which" is the direct object of "make", so no, you cannot add "it" after "make" because then it would have two direct objects, which English ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 49.3k
10 votes

What are the differences between the usage of 'it' and 'they'?

It is always singular, and hardly ever used of humans (some people refer to a baby whose sex they don't know as "it", but others find that offensive). It is often used of animals, but many people use "...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 74.7k
10 votes

I wonder if the sentence is grammatically correct? "I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal." Am I missing something?

I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. I agree with you that a relative pronoun is missing. Edit That relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause who defined man as a ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
9 votes

For who or For whom

"Whom" is the technically correct word in this construction, as the answer by user gotube explains. But "whom" is rapidly becoming obsolete. Many native speakers no longer use it ...
David Siegel's user avatar
9 votes

"Whoever" or "whomever"

Style advice From dictionary.com: When to Use Whoever or Whomever Whoever and whomever follow the he or him rule that also works with who and whom. This trick relies on the fact that him, whom, and ...
hkBst's user avatar
  • 235
9 votes

Why can't I grammatically repeat the object with the pronoun "it"?

[I'm compelled to write an answer here because the accepted one sounds good and is highly voted but is wrong.] Preliminaries The word that is not a pronoun and doesn't stand in for a noun phrase. It ...
8 votes

“Ourself” vs. “Our Self”?

Neither "ourself" nor "our self", but ourselves. Our is the possessive, which comes from the pronoun we. It's a rule that the plural of some words ending in f or which have f as penult will be ...
Davyd's user avatar
  • 1,726
8 votes
Accepted

Omitting 'that' in this sentence

No, the relative pronoun that cannot be omitted in the sentence "There is so much (that) is at stake for many". This is because that functions as the subject of the defining relative clause that is ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 3,005
8 votes

Which vs. Whose

Who told you that whose is only used for living things? I'd like to know the name of that person who is responsible for speeding this misconception about the English language because I hear people ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

"One of them" vs. "One of which"

You don't need to capitalize the o in the word "one" if it is not the first word of a sentence. The tutorial you watched is correct. The reason the first sentence is ungrammatical is because it is a ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
  • 18.9k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the subject of this sentence

The subject of the main clause is I. But then that subject talks about himself in the third person: The Rumplestiltskin who spins straw into gold. Spins agrees with the subject of the relative clause.
Alan Carmack's user avatar
7 votes

Relative pronoun that

This is the path that he came by. Yes this makes sense, and personally sounds better than the answer you gave. ( That sounds a little bit literary for me, I wouldn't say that in real life probably). ...
bobbin's user avatar
  • 91
7 votes

Why there is no object after "make"?

You could add an "it", by splitting it into two sentences: As you can see, we're in the reception area. We try to make it attractive and welcoming to visitors. But in the single sentence ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

I wonder if the sentence is grammatically correct? "I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal." Am I missing something?

Short answer (tl;dr): When Wilde was writing it was already literary and old-fashioned to use a relative clause without a relative word like who or that if the clause did not have its own subject. In ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
6 votes

Is there any difference between “which” and “that”?

If you're confused about that versus which, don't feel bad. It's one of the most common topics people ask me about. I used to work as a technical writer, and I'd often edit documents in which people ...
jiya mehta's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What relative pronoun should I use here? which or that?

A restrictive relative clause may use either that or the appproriate wh- form as relativizer—or, in some circumstances, no relativizer. None is "better" or "worse" than the others: it's a free ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
6 votes

What is the subject of this sentence

This is one sentence, but there are two clauses.  This means that there are two subjects, and each of those subjects is paired with its own verb.  Let's give descriptions to the two ...
Gary Botnovcan's user avatar
6 votes

Relative pronoun "whom" used as an indirect object of a verb with two objects

(A small issue that doesn't relate to the grammaticality: it seems unnatural to me to use a defining relative clause after a proper noun, at least in this particular sentence. So I'm going to use ...
sumelic's user avatar
  • 7,148

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