This is the house about which I told you.

In the above sentence, the relative pronoun "which" is considered to be the prepositional complement of the preposition "about".

1.) If the relative pronoun "which" is the prepositional complement of the preposition "about", what is the rest of the relative clause "I told you" considered to be?

2.) Why is it possible to use a relative clause as a prepositional complement? If the prepositional complement is a clause, it should normally be a nominal clause.

  • It's not the relative clause that's the prepositional object; it's the relative pronoun which. Relative pronouns have to be moved to the front of the clause to mark it (if they're not either already there, or omitted totally), and if a relative pronoun is moved from a position of object of a preposition, the preposition may be stranded at the end (the house which I told you about), or the preposition may be moved with the pronoun object, as here. The process is called Pied-Piping, and it's fairly complicated syntactically. – John Lawler Mar 17 '18 at 18:43
  • To add to what JL said, the PP functions in the relative clause as complement of "told": "I told you about x", where x=which=house. – BillJ Mar 17 '18 at 20:01
  • JohnLawler, BillJ: Again, thank you very much for your clarifying answers. – Sinushyperbolikus Mar 18 '18 at 11:54

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