28 November 2007

There are certain things which cannot be explained.

Today, I heard a mistake from someone who should be invincible. The very instructor of the very class, who teaches us the correct way to use these very things, used something (very) wrong. Of course, speaking and writing are two different things, so I don't blame her.

She said, "I edited a book for...the English professors, whom are very good writers."

I almost raised my hand to ask if the "whom" should actually be "who" in that sentence, but I didn't want to criticize her speaking in front of the whole class, so I held my tongue. Instead, I wrote a little note to the person in front of me (uh...that would be Julie).

Surely if you were to split the sentence into two clauses: "I edited a book for the English professors/who are very good writers," it would be clear that "who" serves as the relative pronoun for the second clause and should therefore take the subjective case.

But if you look at it in another way, then it would be an extension, or modifying "the English professors," since "the English professors" is the object of the sentence. In that case (literally), would it take the objective pronoun, which would be "whom"?

And coming from that perspective, isn't Russian that way? Then I started thinking about it, and really...I don't know. I mean, I think it would be like this:

Я читала книгу профессора, кого (or maybe которого) хороший писатель
I (nominative) read book (accusative case) professor (genitive case), who (genitive case) good (nominative) writer (nominative)

(and actually the genitive case is the object case, so it'd be whom...)

but is that even grammatically correct in Russian?

What about который?

I'm confused.

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