relative clause

jooney

Senior Member
Korean
Hi,

Here is part of a conversation that I heard while watching a video clip.

I think a lot of people get the false impression that because we have all these social networking friends, on Twitter and facebook, that all those people are really our friends. We know all those people aren't really our friends. And the study measured not just people being able to talk, but who could you depend on to loan you a significant amount of money or who could you go and live with if you needed help. So when you talk about being able to ask that friendship, well, that's going to narrow the number significantly.

What does the first underlined mean? The study measured not just people being able to talk? Does it mean something like this? The study measured not just a number of people you are able to talk to. Is the underlined in question grammatically correct?

Is this an interrogative question version of the following declarative sentence?

Declarative: You could depend on someone to loan you a significant amount of money=You could depend on someone that would loan you a significant amount of money.
Interrogative: Who could you depend on to loan you a significant amount of money?

I'd really appreciate it if you could take the time to answer my questions.
 
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  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This is the written record of spoken conversation, so the grammatical constructions are not the ones these people would use if they were writing something they had time to think about and correct.

    1) The studied measured [=counted as friends] not the people who could just talk to each other ....
    2) but the people you could also borrow money from and who would let you live with them if you were in trouble and needed help.
    (The clauses with 'who' are not interrogative, but relative clauses describing the people who would be real friends, according to the study.)

    Does this answer your question?
     

    jooney

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hi again,

    I didn't know there was limit on quotations. I appologize for that.

    This is the shortened version of it.

    The study measured not just people being able to talk, but who could you depend on to loan you a significant amount of money or who could you go and live with if you needed help.

    Cornell University conducted a study on how many true friends we really have in our lives and it turend out that a large number of people have a close freind less than two or three. And the speaker is explaining why the results of the study turned out the way it did.

    Now my questions are as follows:

    Q1) The study measured not just people being able to talk.

    So this sentence means: They(the study) did not count A as friends. A=people who you talk to. Correct?

    Q2) but who could you depend on to loan you a siginificant amount of money.

    Wh
    at does this part mean? They counted as friends the people who you could depend on to loan you a lot of money? If this is the case, then why did she say "who could you" instead of "who you could"?

    I'd appreciate an answer. Thanks.
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Sorry, jooney ... I closed your original post while modifying it and then forgot to open it again. Because Cagey answered that original thread, I've now merged both threads. My apologies for the confusion.
     
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    jooney

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you for your answers, Cagey. So as for question #2, why did the speaker say "who could you" instead of "who you could"?

    It's like saying, "They counted the people who could you borrow money from." I've never seen a relative clause used like that in a written text. Is this quite common for a colloquial conversation?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You are correct, jooney. :)

    It is in the form of an interrogative, possibly because the speaker was thinking of a question asked by the survey. This is the sort of switch in construction that happens in speech. The first part tells you what the study measured, the second slips into the questions asked. It is perfectly understandable, but not a model to imitate yourself.

    To make sense of it as a continuous sentence, I read the interrogatives as relatives.
     
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