What I bought, Where I bought, When I bought etc

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zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
Wh-word + clause working as the subject of the whole sentence. Are all of these correct?

-What I bought is none of our business.
-Where I bought this book is none of our business.
-When I bought this book is none of our business.
-How many people turned up is none your business.
 
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  • zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    '-How many people turned up is none of your business'

    Please explain what the intended meaning is. What is the significance of using 'should' rather than 'doesn't'?
    Hmm, this must be a bad translation. That's the way we say in Polish. Someone is criticising me for buying something, say they think it's useless or a rip-off, I tell them back: "What I buy shouldn't interest you." meaning I can buy whatever I want to.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, I see now why you used 'shouldn't'. It's not impossible but I don't think it's idiomatic.
    "What I buy/bought (or other verb) has nothing to do with you" is another way of expressing "none of your business". There might be a nuance of difference which might reflect that 'should' and possibly it's slightly less rude than 'none of your business'.
    I think that if I wanted to express the 'should', I'd say 'There's really no need for you to interest yourself in what I bought', with a big smile.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And are these correct/natural?

    -When we leave depends only on you.

    -If Britain should leave the EU is a matter of great debate.

    -Where he spends his free time worries everybody a lot.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    They are all possible. "If" is not one of the wh-words that we use to begin a noun clause- here it means "whether".

    When we leave depends on you alone.


    If
    Whether Britain should leave the EU is a matter of great debate.

    Where he spends his free time worries everybody a lot. - This is okay, but it's not very idiomatic. We would tend to express it differently.
     
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