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To understand my question, let me draw you to the sample sentences I bring from another post: Usage / examples of "of which".

  1. She discovered so many spiders, of which she was most afraid.
  2. He answered all the listening and reading exercises, of which the test mostly consisted.
  3. The team won a silver medal, of which they were very proud.

In all of the above sentences ending words afraid, consisted, and proud are split from of in their normal usage, (e.g. afraid of). Is it still valid to proceed beyond these ending verbs like these :

  1. She discovered so many spiders, of which she was afraid more than anything.
  2. He answered all the listening and reading exercises, of which the test mostly consisted as he has predicted.
  3. The team won a silver medal, of which they were most proud due to their hard work.
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    They're grammatical, but they're all very confusing constructions IMO. When you put too much after of which, it's ambiguous what the relative clauses refer to.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 5:14
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    ...Yes, clunky. I'd use two sentences in B1,2,3; I'd start both examples 2 with 'The test'. Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 7:50
  • @Edwin Thanks. I see. You mean "The test consisted mostly the listening and reading excercies. He answered all of them". Correct?
    – chanp
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 10:49
  • Yes, that sounds much better. It does however shift the emphasis a little. Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 11:44
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    @chanp: Since you're specifically asking about constructions involving of which (which as Edwin says, is "clunky" / confusing in your examples), you might like to note that it's perfectly natural to say The test mostly consisted of listening and reading exercises, all of which he answered. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 17:03

1 Answer 1

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All of those sentences are correct, although not in a form you would commonly encounter.

When you see "of which," it is typically designed to rephrase a sentence so that it doesn't end with a preposition. It's a myth that ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong, but it is still avoided by some people. (Even if somebody doesn't believe it to be wrong, they might prefer the alternate writing style.)

  • Original: These are the spiders she's afraid of.
  • Reprhased: These are the spiders of which she's afraid.

The sentence examples you give have a similar quality, but are more complex. Interestingly, it's the use of the commas that seems to result in any awkwardness. (And, perhaps, some verbiage after as a result.)

If you're worried about how they might sound but don't want to change them into two sentences, you could replace the commas with em dashes, along with some other rephrasing. (Incidentally, doing this also removes your use of "of which.")

  1. She discovered so many spiders---her greatest fear.
  2. He answered all the listening and reading exercises---as he had predicted, the test had consisted mostly of those.
  3. The team won a silver medal---a proud recognition of their hard work..

I may have changed things too much, but the idea is there. I, however, don't necessarily have an issue with the original construction. Depending on context, it's a more simplistic phrasing. Changing them as I did---or turning them into two sentences---will also change their tone of voice and "reception." You will need to determine what your priorities are.

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