Hi!  I have some questions about this sentence:

 

(1) How much and when you drink coffee is important.

https://learningenglish.voanew...-longer/3112147.html

 

I find the sentence (1) interesting.  I would imagine that If "how much" were not connected with "when" in the sentence, "coffee" would be placed right after "how much" as in the sentence (2a) below:

 

(2) a. How much coffee you drink is important.

      b. How much you drink coffee is important.

 

Am I right so far?  I am also wondering where "coffee" will go if the order of "how much" and "when" is reversed (if that's possible).

 

(3) a.  When and how much you drink coffee is important.

      b. When and how much coffee you drink is important.

 

What would the sentence be like if the clause "you drink coffee" is changed to an infinitive clause?

 

(4) a. How much and when to drink coffee is important.

      b. How much coffee and when to drink is important.

 

I would very much appreciate your comments! 

 

Original Post
yasukotta posted:

Hi!  I have some questions about this sentence:

(1) How much and when you drink coffee is important.

https://learningenglish.voanew...-longer/3112147.html

I find the sentence (1) interesting.

So do I, Yasukotta. I don't like that sentence very much, to be honest. I don't think it can be analyzed as a noun clause (although it looks like one) because, as you say, the order of elements would need to be altered for the clause to be correct, as illustrated by (2) (a) and (b) in your post above.

I like your sentences under (3) and (4) even less, but (1) seems acceptable to me. This might be because, in the case of the sentences under (3), "when" seems to be much more dependent on the vicinity of a clause than "how much," and "how much" seems to be interfering. In the case of (4), I think this might be acceptable:

4.c. How much coffee and when to drink it is important.

I think (1) is acceptable because, being part of the object (not an advervial) of the clause, "how much" forms part of a noun phrase ("how much coffee") and can appear at the beginning of the sentence, being similar to:

5. The amount/quantity and the time of day you drink coffee is important. (which, in my opinion, is a better version of the original sentence)

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