A grammar illusion

  1. The apartment that the maid who the service had sent over was cleaning every week was well decorated.
  2. The apartment that the maid who the service had sent over was well decorated.

Which sentence seems grammatically correct?

answer here (pdf file)

3 thoughts on “A grammar illusion

  1. Hi Laura – I’m pretty sure ‘who’ is right …. because “who” is the subject of the clause “the maid who … was cleaning every week.”

    I ***think*** that when ‘who’ can be seen as both a direct object of an embedded clause “(“whom the service had sent over”) and the subject of the ’embedding’ clause, ‘who’ trumps ‘whom.’

    But I could be wrong!

    • I’ve never heard that rule, so you could be right. I actually hate the whole “who” vs. “whom” decision. “Whom,” even when correct, sounds pretentious. I just wish we’d do away with “whom” entirely. I just don’t see a need for it.

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