To be vs that

Esad Nr

Senior Member
Turkish
The man who people claimed to be a thief was arrested.

The man who people claimed that is a thief was arrested.

Which construction is better in this sentence “to be” or “that”?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The man who people claimed to be a thief was arrested. This may require punctuation - it is not clear if "who people claimed to be a thief" is a defining or descriptive clause.

    It is easier to see if "people" is changed to "he"

    The man, whom he claimed to be a thief, was arrested. :tick:
    The man who, he claimed, to be a thief was arrested. :cross:
    The man who, he claimed, is a thief, was arrested. :tick:
    The man that he claimed to be a thief was arrested. :tick:

    The man who people claimed that is a thief was arrested. :cross:
     
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