relative pronoun and talk about/look for

Julianus

Senior Member
Korean
Hello.

1a.The car that you are talking about is near my house. b. The car you are talking about is near my house. c.The car about which you are talking is near my house.
2a.The car that you are looking for is near my house. b.The car you are looking for is near my house. c. The car for which you are looking is near my house.

I think all 1(a,b,c) are correct and 2(a, b) are correct. But 2c is incorrect. Since 'look for' is a phrasal verb, it can't be separated to 'look' and 'for', while since 'talk about' isn't a phrasal verb, it can be separated to 'talk' and 'about'. Am I right? If so, which one is the most common and the second in 1a, 1b, and 1c?

Thank you always~.
 
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Most common in speech would be "The car you're talking about is near my house", basically your #1b.
    I wouldn't think twice if I heard (= it's not unusual to hear) "The car that you're talking about is near my house" (#1a).
    Your #1c would virtually never appear in speech.
    For #2a and #2b, I would say the same as #1a and #1b, respectively.
    You may be right about #2c and the phrasal verb. Both of the "c" sentences sound so strange that I can't decide of one of them is "worse".
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Neither of the 'c' sentences strikes me as particularly strange, but I would only expect to see them in print, not hear people actually say them. I do agree that the versions with the contractions would be most common in speech.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I would not be so hesitant and would occasionally say both (c)s. However, normally both (b)s are what I would say.
     

    Julianus

    Senior Member
    Korean
    1d. The car which you are looking for is near my house. c. The car for which you are looking is near my house.
    3a. Which are you looking for? b. For which are you looking?

    If 1c is correct, as the posts said, why is 3b incorrect? Can the phrasal-verb be separated in relative pronoun clause like 1c, but can't be separated in interrogative sentence like 3b? Why is the phrase verb treated differently?
     
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