3

I have this sentence of which I am not sure: "Establishing a commission in six months at the latest who will determine the rules of appointment"

I do not want to move time expression to the end not to cause confusion but is the sentence grammatically correct if words come between the object and relative pronoun?

Can you help me out? Thanks.

  • 3
    Yes, that's fine, but you need the relative word which here, not the word who. – Araucaria Dec 19 '16 at 13:02
  • @Araucaria thanks, I just assumed that since the commission is composed of people, I could use who. Is there a rule for words coming between relative pronouns and nouns they define? – alperz Dec 19 '16 at 13:07
  • I'm afraid I don't know why who doesn't work here, but, er, it doesn't! – Araucaria Dec 19 '16 at 13:23
  • @alperz: Who, which, that, whose, whom are relative pronouns. Some people think there's a rule about whether to use "which" or "that", but most people either don't know or don't care about that anyway. Your example is complicated by the fact that it's actually a commission which will decide who will determine the rules, but you haven't included that bolded element in your phrasing. – FumbleFingers Dec 19 '16 at 13:24
  • The syntactic phenomenon you're asking about is called Extraposition from Noun Phrase. – John Lawler Dec 19 '16 at 15:17
1

Faced with complexity, it is often useful to rethink the entire sentence. As it stands, the primary point sort of gets lost. It is awkward to read through the beginning without already understanding everything. The placement of "at the latest" is a minor concern compared to overall clarity. Perhaps it would be better to state:

  • A commission will be established within six months to determine the rules of appointment.

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.