'What seems enjoyable to you seems troublesome to me' I have a problem with 'what'. I know 'what' in the sentence is a pronoun but I can't figure out what type of pronoun it's supposed to be. I do think it's a relative pronoun, but if it is I don't why it is so since relative pronoun doesn't come first in a sentence-- or at least I think so. Thoughts?


What (unlike which) is not a typical relative pronoun because it can't have a noun or a pronoun as its antecedent. In your case it starts a nominal relative clause, which functions as the subject of the sentence (in other cases such a clause can be the object of a verb). More details about it:



[What seems enjoyable to you] seems troublesome to me.

This is a ‘fused’ relative construction where the bracketed constituent is a noun phrase as subject of the sentence.

It’s fused in that the antecedent and the relative word are fused together instead of being expressed separately. The pronoun “what” thus means “that which”.

It has the same meaning as the non-fused:

That which seems enjoyable to you seems troublesome to me.

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