Relative pronouns

This is the apartment that / for that / for which / which I have been looking for a long time.

Which relative pronoun is correct in above sentence?why?

Comments

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    In Present Day English for that I have been looking is not considered grammatical There is no reason for this; it used to be grammatical centuries ago (I think), but now it isn't. The rule is not to combine that with a preposition in this way.

    In speech I could say any of the following
    This is the apartment that I've been looking for for a long time.
    This is the apartment which I've been looking for for a long time.
    This is the apartment I've been looking for for a long time.

    None of these work in writing because of the combination for for.

    One possibility in a written style that's not too formal is:
    This is the apartment that I've long been looking for.

    In British English, which and that are interchangeable in the sort of relative clause that doesn't have commas. Some Americans are taught to use only that.

    In speech we often have no relative pronoun at all when the words before (in this case the apartment) represent the OBJECT of the relative clause (in this case I've been looking for the apartment).

    In formal writing, we don't split up two-word verbs like look for. But in formal writing, I don't think we'd use look for — I think we'd prefer search for. So a suitable formal wording might be:
    This is the apartment for which I have long been searching.

  • Thanks for your answer.

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