at a place nobody knows / nobody knows where

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
"Hommer, a great poet, was born at a place that nobody knows where."
Should "where" be left out? If I keep "where", is it:
"Hommer, a great poet, was born at a place where nobody knows."
Thanks.
 
  • stezza

    Banned
    english
    Your sentence would sound more natural if you changed it to: Nobody knows where the great poet, Homer, was born.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you for your suggestion.
    Because I would like to keep "at a place", is it correct?
    "Hommer, a great poet, was born at a place nobody knows."
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I don't think so. How about substituting "which" for "where" and saying "Homer, a great poet, was born at a place which nobody knows." Sound good to your ear?
     

    stezza

    Banned
    english
    Homer was born in an unknown place - to my mind it's acceptable, but barely. It doesn't strike me as a natural locution.

    Could I just point out that Homer has only 1 'm'.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Mimi Your last sentence is okay from the standpoint that a listener or reader would know what you are trying to say. However "at a place nobody knows" grammatically cannot stand without the modifier, "that" or "which" and I think "which" preferable. We run into the same thing in French. Often I will draft a sentence in French and realize it needed "que' or "lequelle."
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Mimi,

    I think Deloris' suggestion is okay, and so is Stezza's (unknown place), even though Stezza didn't like it ... but the real problem to me is your demand for "at a place" followed by some description. If it's absolutely required, then Homer was born at a place nobody can identify, or nobody can determine. But as everyone has pointed out, it's a little off. Still awkward, but possibly more common, would be "He was born in an unknown locale." Best of all, in my view, was Stezza's original suggestion "Nobody knows where Homer was born," or even better, "Nobody can say for certain where Homer was born."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top