The car ......... Alex bought, was expensive.

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
The car ......... Alex bought, was expensive.

a. which
b. who
c. whom
d. that

Hello,
This is a self made test. Would you please be kind enough to tell me which options can be correct?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The car ......... Alex bought, was expensive.

    a. which
    b. who
    c. whom
    d. that

    Hello,
    This is a self made test. Would you please be kind enough to tell me which options can be correct?

    Thanks in advance.
    Which one do you think is correct??????? Rules......

    GF..
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    D is correct. I might also use B, though there are many who might disagree. Having no word there would also be correct.

    B and C are not correct.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    My preference would be no word in the blank, or (d). In any case, there should be no comma after "bought," unless "which" is used, with a comma before it.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    I am confused. I have some questions.

    Why not "which"? Isn't "car" and object? Don't we use "which" for objects?
    Like this one: The car which hit me was yellow

    Why not "whom"? Aren't "subjects" (Alex) used after "whom"?
    Like this one: The person whom I phoned last night is my teacher.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    "Whom" only refers to people (or sometimes to animals).

    Some speakers, particularly BE speakers, are fine with "which."
     
    Last edited:

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    I got confused. I received different responses.
    "Whom" only refers to people (or sometimes to animals).
    What if one part is a person and the next part is an object?

    I mean: This is the man whom the ball hit while playing soccer. :confused:

    Is it correct? Or both subject and object should be a human?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    "Which", "that", and "" are all correct. Most people would prefer 'that' over 'which'. I agree with Flo that no-word is better here than 'that'.

    "Who" and "whom" are wrong (or at least inadvisable) because the car is not a person. If Alex (or, to be more accurate, the speaker) really wishes to personify the car, which would be unusual, then 'whom' would be more correct than 'who', I think, because the car is the object of Alex's purchase, though I've a feeling there's a school of thought that favours 'who' because it is the subject of the enclosing sentence:

    Even though they might say: Here is the man whom I had accidentally hit on the head with my ball. He was angry.
    they would nevertheless say: The man who I had accidentally hit on the head with my ball was angry.
    I would tend to say whom in both of the above.

    RM1(SS) said:
    D is correct. I might also use B, though there are many who might disagree. Having no word there would also be correct.
    B and C are not correct.
    This does not compute. Why might you "also use B" but then say it's "not correct"? Did you mean you might also use A?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I'm afraid I must disagree. Two commas are needed to set off a non-restrictive adjective clause. So none of them is correct.
    As Flo pointed out in #5. But I'm pretty sure the intention here is that the clause is restrictive, not non-restrictive, i.e. the speaker is telling us that a specific car, namely the one Alex bought, was expensive, not that some previously identified car was expensive, and, by the way, Alex bought it.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I got confused. I received different responses.

    What if one part is a person and the next part is an object?

    I mean: This is the man whom the ball hit while playing soccer. :confused:

    Is it correct? Or both subject and object should be a human?
    The next part is irrelevant. Also, it's better to avoid the word "object" when referring to a thing as distinct from a person, because "object" is also something we might like to distinguish from a subject.

    Whom refers to a person as an object. Who refers to a person as a subject.
    In the phrase whom the ball hit, whom is the object and ball is the subject.
    In the phrase who hit the ball, who is the subject and ball is the object.
    In both phrases the ball is a thing, and who/whom is a person.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    D is correct. I might also use B, though there are many who might disagree. Having no word there would also be correct.

    B and C are not correct.
    This does not compute. Why might you "also use B" but then say it's "not correct"? Did you mean you might also use A?
    Oops. :eek: Yes, I meant that I might also use A.

    And I agree that whom is correct in both of your sentences.
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    Mostly, these things have all been said, but just to summarize:

    If it's meant to be a restrictive adjective clause, you can use WHICH, THAT and (NOTHING), but you need to omit the comma at the end of the clause.

    If it's meant to be a non-restrictive adjective clause, you must put a comma after CAR, and then you can only use WHICH.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    What KHS's summary, which is correct, doesn't quite make clear enough is that using one comma is not an option. The non-restrictive clause must be enclosed in commas (so two are needed), and both these commas must be omitted in the restrictive case.
     
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