0

Can I use the phrase "by God" to imply I'm talking about God, while also using it as an interjection?

So e.g.:

  • By God, it was a difficult thing to do, who has long since given up on me.
  • 2
    You might possibly get away with it in a written piece if you moved the relative clause up: By God (who has long since given up on me) it was a difficult thing to do! – TRomano Jan 30 '16 at 17:07
  • @TimRomano appreciated. specifically (sorry i never provide the right context) i'm asking whether the quote could be of god, in this poem en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banal_Sojourn – concerned Jan 30 '16 at 17:09
  • Sorry, I do not follow. Are you referring to Pardie? – TRomano Jan 30 '16 at 17:14
  • 1
    The Third Commandment is still in effect, you know. – Ricky Jan 30 '16 at 17:58
  • 2
    Nope. You might argue that it's technically correct, but most people would read it as nonsense. – Hot Licks Jan 30 '16 at 18:52
2

No, this is not grammatical. To understand why, replace "God" with "John" and simplify the sentence, because perhaps the "By God" idiom doesn't allow you to see it very clearly.

*By John, cutting the grass was a difficult thing to do, who has long since given up on me
  • hello digicula. thanks for the reply, tho tbh i'm not sure i follow – concerned Jan 30 '16 at 17:06
  • 2
    In the sentence I gave you, *By John, cutting the grass was a difficult thing to do, who has long since given up on me, the syntax is improper. "By John" here simply describes the phrase "cutting the grass was a difficult thing to do" (and rather poorly; "According to John" would be more idiomatic). For the sentence to be grammatical, you would need to phrase it as such: "John, who has long since given up on me, says that cutting the grass was a difficult thing to do". – Digital Dracula Jan 30 '16 at 17:10
  • ok thanks for the clarification, tho i'd have to just agree rather than think it thru. grammar eh – concerned Jan 30 '16 at 17:11
  • what about "I swore to John, cutting the grass is a pain, who has long since stopped paying me attention" – concerned Jan 30 '16 at 17:14
  • This is barely better, but it doesn't work without swapping the clauses: It should read: I swore to John, who has long since stopped paying me attention, that cutting the grass is a pain. It's not elegant, and I wouldn't use it, but it's grammatical – Digital Dracula Jan 31 '16 at 6:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.