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What your age is Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:59:01 PM
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'If you feel happy about yourself, it doesn't matter what your age is'
'If you feel happy about yourself, it doesn't matter what your age is'
http://m.rediff.com/movies/report/if-you-feel-happy-about-yourself-it-doesnt-matter-what-your-age-is-video/20170314.htm
What is the grammatical form and function of "what"?
Is "what your age is" a noun clause acting as an object to "matter"?
Thanks
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:13:22 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Basically - yes. However, I would call 'what your age is' a complement - it is a restatement of the subject "it", so 'matter' is acting very much as a linking verb.

The sentence uses the 'dummy pronoun 'it'.

"Matter" - and "doesn't matter" more often - as verbs, are often followed by preposition+clause - OR the preposition+clause are used as the subject.

These can be specific - "It doesn't matter that your age is sixty years".
"That your age is sixty years doesn't matter."

They can be unspecific and vague - "It doesn't matter what your age is."
"What your age is doesn't matter."

"What" and "That" in these sentences are prepositions, I think.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:28:42 PM

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Good advice, DragO, but I can't bring myself to think of "what" and" that" as prepositions.

Surely "that" (in this is use) is a conjunction. "What" seems to be something different — maybe a subordinating pronoun?

You know who I am
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:37:50 PM

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NKM wrote:
Good advice, DragO, but I can't bring myself to think of "what" and" that" as prepositions.

Surely "that" (in this is use) is a conjunction. "What" seems to be something different — maybe a subordinating pronoun?



Drag0n gave us such a great explanation. However, I don't think the noun clause is acting as a preposition; I'd explain it in another way:

In fact, what your age is is the object of the verb "matter", which is probably acting as a linking verb, so "what your age is" would be the subject complement since "matter" is probably a linking verb.

I would say that Dummy Subject changes the placement of the real subject of the sentence:

It doesn't matter what your age is: What your age is doesn't matter.

It
isn't important that you don't like me: That you don't like me isn't important.

It
seems crazy that you don't like to listen to music: That you don't like to listen to music seems crazy.

As you can see, the real subject of the sentence is implied in the end of the sentence, and the dummy subject replaces it.

I don't really know what the dummy subject is for, people normally use it to emphasize something.


Jesus, He is the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the Father if not through Him.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:05:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 24,707
Neurons: 127,993
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - as I said, "I would call 'what your age is' a complement - it is a restatement of the subject "it", so 'matter' is acting very much as a linking verb."

The whole thing (each of 'that your age is sixty' and 'what your age is') has to be a noun.

But looking at them again, I see I was mistaken, NKM is right. The 'part of speech' of the individual words 'that' and 'what' seems to change with the positioning of the clause.

"That" is a conjunction in "It doesn't matter that your age is sixty years" - it joins the verb 'matter' with the clause 'your age is sixty years'.

In the sentence "That your age is sixty years doesn't matter", it's more like a pronoun. It stands for something like "The fact that".

In the "what" sentences, I can really see 'what' as a pronoun in both.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 2:42:51 AM
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Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 252
Neurons: 1,658
Thank you all for your wonderful explanation.
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