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I feel that the following sentence is not correct:

He wants to paint the walls of his flat, for what he needs the best tools.

So 'what' refers to the whole first clause in the sentence.

Okay, I could say something like:

He wants to paint the walls of his flat, so he needs the best tools.

or I could use therefore, thus, etc. But is there a solution which is somehow nearer to the first sentence in meaning? Can I use a preposition before 'what' in a relative clause, similarly to the case of 'which'?

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  • Use 'for which purpose' not 'for what'. Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:27

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'Which' rather than 'what,' is the accepted determiner/pronoun.

"He wants to paint the walls of his flat, for which he needs the best tools."

According to the Google dictionary:

which (pronoun and determiner)

used referring to something previously mentioned when introducing a clause giving further information.

"a conference in Vienna which ended on Friday"

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  • You might have a bit of a problem identifying exactly what "which" refers to in OP's example (which I think is a slightly "loose" usage). At least with *"He wants to paint the walls of his flat, for which wallpaper would be my preferred covering" we can just pick out the prior reference as "the walls". In OP's case we have to resort to something like "[the action of] painting the walls". Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 16:49

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