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“I will do whatever you want.”

am I right to say that “whatever” is a fused relative pronoun, “you” is a noun, and “want” is just a regular verb? Additionally, would it be more correct to label the direct object as “whatever you want” instead of just “whatever”?

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allexkramer432Am I right to say that “whatever” is a fused relative pronoun

You are.

allexkramer432“you” is a noun

A pronoun, actually, but it can be treated as a noun for our purposes here.

allexkramer432“want” is just a regular verb

Yes, but I don't know why you mentioned this. It doesn't seem relevant to the analysis.

allexkramer432correct to label the direct object as “whatever you want” instead of just “whatever”?

"whatever you want", technically speaking, is the complement of the verb do, and, still technically speaking, there is no direct object. Nowadays, we don't often call a clause a direct object; that term is reserved for noun phrase (NP) complements.

If you want to "unfuse" the construction as "whatever thing that you want", you can say that "whatever thing" is the direct object and "that you want" a relative clause that modifies it. However, as far as I know, people do not analyze sentences on the basis of their "unfused" paraphrases.

CJ

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So, in regards to your saying that there isn’t a direct object, can you elaborate on why what is currently there isn’t a direct object? The direct/indirect object specifics aren’t a strong suit of mine.

It is certainly a direct object in the terminology of old school grammar (so-called "traditional grammar"), and a great many grammar books and websites still use that terminology, so you are in good company if you want to call it a direct object.

I was just trying to expand your world a little by introducing a concept from so-called "modern grammar".

For help disambiguating 'direct object' and 'indirect object', see

Direct object and Indirect object

CJ

So, is that link more so the contemporary use? I’m sorry. I just didn’t know that things had changed.

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allexkramer432So, is that link more so the contemporary use?

Don't worry. The information in that link is true for all systems of analysis.

The exception is that when an indirect object is expressed as a prepositional phrase (to the students) some grammarians say it's not really an indirect object.

CJ

Which applies to complements also, correct? Is that what you’re saying?

Also, in which ways do complements and PPs overlap?

allexkramer432

Which applies to complements also, correct? Is that what you’re saying?

Also, in which ways do complements and PPs overlap?

Sorry. What's "which"? PPs are occasionally complements as far as I understand it — when they are essential to the sentence. "put" takes a PP complement. You can't just say "Put that". One of the properties of the verb "put" is that you have to add an expression of place, which can be a PP: Put that in the kitchen.

CJ

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I’m sorry I seem so naive on complements. They are pretty new to me, and I don’t mean to have gotten off topic, but you seem to know a little about them. Are they basically anything that can finish off a statement or sentence and keep the meaning intact (being essential)?

Additionally, I notice when relative pronouns come into play, like “that”, are they always complements?

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