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Hi,

Some people say that "which" can represent both an island (in the Hawaiian Islands) and 'Hawaiian Islands.'

I cannot believe that.

Could anyone teach me that what 'which' indicates in this case?

And, is the 2nd sentence correct?

1. The ship was drifted ashore at one of Hawaiian Islands, the name of which was unknown to the crew.

2. The ship was drifted ashore at one of Hawaiian Islands, which name was unknown to the crew.

Regards,

Thanks a lot.

Sorry but I cannot figure out why the post in the input window become doubble spaced.
Comments  
For a start both sentences would need 'at one of the Hawaiian Islands...but the first sentence would be the correct version if the rest of the sentence were ok...you should also remove the 'was'. The ship drifted ashore at one of the Hawaiian Islands, the name of which was unknown to the crew.

Which could apply to both one island or the group of islands.

The Hawaiian Islands, which lay off the mainland of North America, are known for their good climate.

Which can apply to singles or plurals.

The car, which belongs to Nona, was a fantastic red colour.

The cars, which were all for sale, were kept in prime condition by the mechanics.
Thank you for the answer. But can I ask more?
Nona The BritThe ship drifted ashore at one of the Hawaiian Islands, the name of which was unknown to the crew.

Which could apply to both one island or the group of islands.

As you explains, "which" can apply to both. How can I recognize the meaning from the sentence? It seems too hard for a English learner.

  1. the name of an island was unknown to the crew.

  2. the name of the Hawaiian Islands was unknown to the crew.
Thank you.
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In the sentence given, the meaning is that the name of that one particular island was unknown to the crew.

If the other meaning had been intended, the sentence would have been written differently, perhaps:

The ship drifted ashore at the Hawaiian Islands, but the crew did not know them by that name.

CJ
Thank you, CalifJim.

I felt relief to hear your answer. I really couldn't understand why the which in the sentence indicates "the Hawaiian Islands." I believed that which represents "one of the Islands = an island that the ship drifted ashore at."

Thank you again.

By the way, could anyone tell me that what the sentence below is wrong? What is the differnce between "which name" and "the name of which"


The ship drifted ashore at one of the Hawaiian Islands, which name was unknown to the crew.
Any comments and correction of my English are greatly appriciated.
If I'm not mistaken, and I could be wrong about this, many centuries ago the form "which name was unknown ..." was used in that context (i.e., as an adjectival relativizer). But it's not used in modern English.
Now we use "the name of which" or "whose name". They both mean the same thing.
If we're referring back to a person, not a thing (like an island), we use "the name of whom" or "whose name".
It's a little confusing until you get used to it. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Thank you for the quick and clearest answer.

I have no mystery with the sentences now.

Thank you, again.