English help... Is this sentence correct?

Whichever item coated with this unique paint can maintain a lower temperature than its surroundings.

The noun clause doesn’t sound right to me, but that is the answer according to the key.

I’d just write “Items coated…” or “Whatever item is coated…”.

My nephew needs your help. Thanks.


This is a type of pronoun. Not sure what type but it means a set of alternatives. So that would be the plural maybe ?

This works. Or “Any item…”


Yes, but I need to know if the question is flawed or if the grammar is correct.

It’s from the official college entrance exam prep material ordered by the high school.

We need more context. But, if you have a paint that has a specific purpose like high temperature paint you may apply the paint to specific items that have a specific purpose. An example is engine components. So the grammar is not incorrect.

Whichever (pronoun) item (of a range of items given by the type of paint) coated with this unique paint can maintain a lower temperature than its surroundings.

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It seems like a demonstrative pronoun to me.

I don’t know much more than I have given.

But you will see this type of grammar often in industrial MSDS or other instructions.

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So there is no need for another verb (is) in the example?
Whichever item is coated with…
It seems like the passive voice.

But if I use “No matter which/what item is coated…” the “is” is essential?

I’ll post a pic of the question.

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@afterspivak @BiggusDickus @DrewC @Ducked @TT @jimipresley

You are all professors from what I remember. Sorry if I missed anyone. Can any of you give me a definitive answer?

Me, too.

None of the given options is good, who wrote that?

Lol, and I just read the opening sentence.

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Looks correct to me but it should be ‘whichever item IS coated…’ It’s just a strange way of saying it.

Most people would use the word ‘any’ vs whichever in this case. (Or as TT said, ‘items coated’ is good)

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It’s from the official college entrance exam prep book for next year’s test. There is a photo of the whole passage in the thread.

That’s telling, isn’t it?

Yes, whoever wrote it doesn’t have a great command of English


Answer (D) sounds better to me.

But I’m not a native speaker, so… :idunno:

I think it’s a mistake by the question setter. Whichever is not a grammatically correct answer.


I would think D definitely requires the “is”. I was just wondering if there was a rare usage where A is really correct.

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The sentence is not correct. None of the options work without further changes to the sentence.

I am not a native speaker, but much of the text is badly written.


Whoever tasked with writing this should be like :man_facepalming:.

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