Hi,
Could you please help me about the difference between two sentences below?

She asked what he wanted.

She asked about what he wanted.

and also;
is there any simple way to understand the distinction where to put a preposition before a conjunction( that and wh-clause)?

for instance,
he has to decide on/- where his children will study.


Thanks.
Last edited {1}
Original Post
quote:
is there any simple way to understand the distinction where to put a preposition before a conjunction( that and wh-clause)?

for instance,

he has to decide on/- where his children will study


I think many times people try to avoid complexity, thus the preposition would be skipped:

733 on "have to decide where"
http://books.google.com/books?...22&btnG=Search+Books

46 on "have to decide on where"
http://books.google.com/books?...22&btnG=Search+Books

As you can see, the first is the one preferred by far in published books.

However, I would not generalize. I'm talking about this particular case.
Last edited by Marius Hancu
quote:
1) She asked what he wanted.
She asked about what he wanted.

The meanings are a bit different, and are what Jerry has mentioned.

In 1) she asked something. She directly asked him or another person. She may or may not supply his wants.

In 2) she asked about -- she wanted information about -- what he wanted. She wasn't necessarily going to supply his wants; she just wanted information.
_______
Your sentence -- He has to decide (on) where his children will study -- means almost the same thing with or without the preposition 'on.' With the preposition, the meaning is this, from the entry at 'decide' in the LDOCE:

decide on/upon something
phrasal verb
to choose something or someone after thinking Have you decided on a date for the wedding?

_______

In general, the preposition may give a slightly different meaning to the verb, either because the two words together form a phrasal verb or a verb + preposition combination. If you are unsure, it's a good idea to consult a dictionary.

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