Discussion:
which was one of his many qualities
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a***@gmail.com
2019-11-07 04:24:26 UTC
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1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of his
many qualities.

2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.

Are the above sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?

Gratefully,
Navi
David Kleinecke
2019-11-07 05:26:37 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of his
many qualities.
2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Are the above sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
Both are technically grammatical but IMO only (2) is idiomatic and
even so not very idiomatic. It would be better as two sentences
3) Her best friend said that she was rude. That was indeed her
main failing.
(2) is ambiguous about whether the best friend said the which
phrase. So is (3) but in a different way.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-07 12:51:57 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of his
many qualities.
2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Are the above sentences grammatical?
no ("which" has no antecedent) ((1) more worse than (2))
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
yes
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-07 21:55:24 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of his
many qualities.
2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Are the above sentences grammatical?
no ("which" has no antecedent) ((1) more worse than (2))
Post by a***@gmail.com
Are they idiomatic?
yes
I suppose linguists have studied such sentences extensively and have a theory
about how a sentence can be idiomatic without really being grammatical. I think
such sentences work, because one grammatical structure (the wrong one) poses
as another grammatical structure which is correct. The wrong one is mistaken
for the correct one.
3) She was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Ok if it describes a character flaw, not ok if it describes an incident.
Jack
2019-11-07 19:58:13 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of his
many qualities.
2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Are the above sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
1) It doesn't make sense to me to say 'his many qualities', because
without some limitation, 'qualities' could be infinite in number. If
it said 'only one of his remarkable qualities', that w
Eric Walker
2019-11-08 10:42:47 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) His neighbor described him as affable, which was actually only one of
his many qualities.
2) Her best friend said that she was rude, which was indeed her main failing.
Are the above sentences grammatical?
Are they idiomatic?
Both sentences suffer from indefinite antecedents.

While we can, without much effort, make out to whom the second "him" and
the second "her" refer, even a teeny-tiny unnecessary effort is something
of a speed bump in communication.

Maybe better as:

1a) His neighbor described him as affable, but affability was only one of
his many [fine/pleasant/likable/&c] qualities.

2a) Her best friend said that she was rude, and rudeness was indeed her
main failing.

Not polished gems of prose, but they make clearer who has which qualities
with only minimal rephrasing.
--
Cordially,
Eric Walker
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