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I read that 'as to' is an awkward construction that should be avoided in writing and replaced with 'about' or should require the sentence to be re-written.

Which is the best version and why?

a) There is no confusion as to what is the antecedent of the relative clause.

b) There is no confusion about what is the antecedent of the relative clause.

c) There is no confusion about what the antecedent of the relative clause is.

Which is the best version and why?

1) There is no confusion as to whether the sentence should be re-written or not.

2) There is no confusion about whether the sentence should be re-written or not.

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Greetings,
English 1b3Which is the best version and why?

a) ? There is no confusion as to what is the antecedent of the relative clause.




b) There is no confusion about what is the antecedent of the relative clause.

c) There is no confusion about what the antecedent of the relative clause is.
A. 'As to' is better replaced by 'about' when it seeks to question the validity of the proposition.

B. Operator + subject is occasionally found in such indirect questions (with 'be' as the full verb).
This word order is aggravated by the end-weight principle.

C. Acceptable, but mind 'B'.
English 1b3Which is the best version and why?

1) There is no confusion as to whether the sentence should be re-written or not.

2) There is no confusion about whether the sentence should be re-written or not.

Better omitted altogether (especially so with 'as to'):

There is no confusion whether the sentence should be re-written or not.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
Gleb_ChebrikoffThis word order is aggravated by the end-weight principle.

What's the end-weight principle?

Also, is a correct, just less preferred?
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'A' is better not used in serious writing.

You can find out more about the principle following any hit in any search engine - there is plenty of information on this one, my friend.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
English 1b3a) There is no confusion as to what is the antecedent of the relative clause.
This is what the Random House Unabridged Dictionary says about as to:

AS TO as a compound preposition has long been standard though occasionally criticized as a vague substitute for about, of, on, or concerning: We were undecided as to our destination. AS TO sometimes occurs at the beginning of a sentence, where it introduces an element that would otherwise have less emphasis: As to his salary, that too will be reviewed. AS TO WHAT and AS TO WHETHER are sometimes considered redundant but have long been standard: an argument as to what department was responsible.

In other words, the dictionary accepts as to in your sentence. However, as what begins an indirect question, I would change the word order: There is no confusion as to what the antecedent of the relative clause is. Another point is that in my grammar a relative clause can't have an antecedent and therefore I would substitute pronoun for clause: There is no confusion as to what the antecedent of the relative pronoun is.

CB
1. It is interesting to note sometimes how linguistic authorities disagree on the appropriateness of using a good deal of words, including this nasty pair - 'as to'. They do occur at the beginning of sentences for the sake of emphasis, but some time ago they have taken to inserting themselves into the phrase like 'the question whether', thus producing the needless and distasteful variant 'the question as to whether'. This phenomenon has spread to contexts where any indirect question appears, and this was wittily described by Kingsley Amis in his style manual. Moreover, Michael West and P. F. Kimber recommend substituting such phrases as could not agree as to who -; as to whether, etc. with could not agree who, whether.

2.
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- Martin Hewings, Advanced Grammar in Use

3. According to my understanding, a relative clause always follows its antecedent, the noun phrase to which it relates (which is, in fact, a citation verbatim from a linguistic dictionary).

Other views are welcome.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
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Cool BreezeAnother point is that in my grammar a relative clause can't have an antecedent
This is also my understanding of "antecedent".

CJ
Cool BreezeAS TO WHAT and AS TO WHETHER are sometimes considered redundant but have long been standard: an argument as to what department was responsible.

Thanks, everyone. How is this use of as to redundant? I can't see how it could be removed to leave a coherent sentence.
This one is Mr C.E. Eckersley's:



And, finally, Sir Quirk's, in case Mr Eckersley is not with it any more Emotion: smile:



This excerpt may, of course, be taken to mean that it is only the pronoun that has its antecedent, and not the entire relative clause, but the subsequent sections clearly reveal that the head noun to which the clause relates and the antecedent of the relative clause are synonymous terms.

Respectfully, Gleb Chebrikoff
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