The following sentence is from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. I'm wondering if it's correct and what it means:

“Give me a couple of dates are good for you.”

Shouldn't it be “Give me a couple of dates that/which are good for you.”

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  • That source seems dubious -- it's apparently unrelated to OU. – Kris Jan 22 at 6:44
  • @Kris oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com -- note the OUP logo at the bottom of the page. User249253, It would be really helpful if you could link to the definition as well as include the words themselves. – Andrew Leach Jan 22 at 7:20
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    It's wrong. The relativized element ("that/which") is subject of the relative clause and therefore obligatory. Note that strictly speaking, "that" is not a relativized element, but just a subordinator. Neverthless, "that"/ "which" are not omissible. – BillJ Jan 22 at 9:49
  • OP, you could @OUPELTGlobal Good Luck. – Kris Jan 23 at 8:35

This is simply a mistake in the "Extra examples" listed for the word date.

You are correct: it's necessary to include the word "that" or "which" before "are" in a sentence like this.

  • By the way, is the rule as simple as that you can omit the relative pronoun when it's an object as opposed to a subject? "Give me a couple of dates (that) I can pencil in." Is the subject/object difference the difference? – Zebrafish Jan 22 at 8:55
  • @Zebrafish: It is, except for the complication that some modern linguists don't classify "that" as a relative pronoun, but as a "relativizer". – sumelic Jan 22 at 8:56
  • In "The person whom I met is very tall", does the fact that you can remove the "whom" according to this relative pronoun omission rule maybe strengthen the point you made about "whom" being possibly correct here as opposed to "who"? As I understand it according to that OLO article "whom" is wrong. – Zebrafish Jan 22 at 9:05
  • @Zebrafish: Janus Bahs Jacquet left some comments suggesting a connection like that, but the fact that "who(m)" can be omitted in phrases like "The person (who(m)) I thought was there" doesn't necessarily support my point in that other answer. Prescriptivists can just say that the correct rule is "you cannot omit a wh-word when it is the subject of the relative clause" (and also, you cannot omit that when the relative clause has a gap in subject position). – sumelic Jan 22 at 9:08
  • @Zebrafish: In fact, "whom" is correct in "The person whom I met is very tall" even from a prescriptivist point of view, because the structure of that sentence is "[The person [whom I met] is very tall]". The relative pronoun is the direct object of the verb met. So in my last comment, I changed the example from that sentence to the phrase "The person [(who(m)) I thought was there]". – sumelic Jan 22 at 9:11

Rephrase that sentence as:

Kindly schedule the meeting on any of the following dates: - Date 1 - Date 2 - Date 3

We could discuss about "topic of interest" after lunch/before lunch at "meeting place". Please share your calendar for the same.

  • That's not the question, though. – Kris Jan 23 at 8:30

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