an overambitious experiment "whose" unintended effects are...

Wookie

Senior Member
Korea, Korean
The European Environment Agency, which advises the European Commission, has recommended that the E.U. suspend its 10% biofuels target, calling it an "overambitious experiment whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control."

This is from an article in TIME. The article is about Euorpe grappling over biofuels.

I'd like to know if "whose" can be used with inanimate objects.
I've looked through previous threads but I haven't got the clear answer.
 
  • Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think they may be quoting a scientist as did the Guardian here.
    "The over-ambitious 10% biofuel target is an experiment whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control," the scientists found.
     

    Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    sure but it would come after "unintended effects" not before. It would have been more "correct" for the scientist(s) to have said that, but normally quotations are taken as is without grammatical corrections.
     

    Wookie

    Senior Member
    Korea, Korean
    ... calling it an "overambitious experiment, unintended effects of which are difficult to predict and difficult to control."

    Is that correct?
    Do I need to put comma between "experiment" and "unintended effects"?
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    You certainly need the comma. I think you also need to say "the unintended effects of which..."

    By the way, I don't think you're going to get any clearer an answer in this new thread than in the several earlier ones asking whether "whose" is okay to use in place of "of which". Personally, I have no problem with it at all!
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    You can certainly use "whose" to refer to inanimate objects.

    Which is the lamp whose bulb has burned out?
    The decision turned out to be a wise choice whose benefits are still being felt today.
    This pencil is too dull; you need to use a pencil whose point is sharper than this.
     

    Wookie

    Senior Member
    Korea, Korean
    You certainly need the comma. I think you also need to say "the unintended effects of which..."

    By the way, I don't think you're going to get any clearer an answer in this new thread than in the several earlier ones asking whether "whose" is okay to use in place of "of which". Personally, I have no problem with it at all!

    ... calling it an "overambitious experiment, of which the unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control."

    Is this wrong? I think "of which" can also be between "experiement" and "unintended effects" if there's a comma.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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