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R-pronouns in Afrikaans can be described as forming a pronominal compound structure which combines a pronominal element with a preposition (which, since it follows the pronoun, could be termed a postposition in such a structure). While structurally a prepositional phrase, R-pronouns may occur, in the case of inanimate referents only, as adjective complements with (1) referential NPs, as in

Example 1

Hy is bang daarvoor.
he is afraid R-for
He is afraid of it.

and (2) question-word NPs, as in

Example 2

Sy wonder waarmee hy nou besig is.
she wonders wh-with he now busy is
She wonders what he is doing now.

They may also act as head of a relative clause, as in

Example 3

Watter voordeel is daar vir 'n mens met al sy inspanning waarmee hy hom afsloof onder die son?
what advantage is there for a human.being with all his effort R-with he him(self) wears.out under the sun
What does man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun?
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R-pronouns (with inanimate referents) occur as adjective complements in various constructions. They may be placed to the left or right of the adjective, as in the examples (with referential NPs) below:

Example 4

Is jy regtig daarmee tevrede?
are you really R.with satisfied
Are you really satisfied with it?
Example 5

Was sy tevrede daarmee?
was she satisfied R.with
Was she satisfied with it?

If a question-word NP is included, left-placement is required, both for direct questions (unmarked sequence) and indirect questions:

Example 6

Waarmee is jy besig?
R.with are you busy
What are you busy doing?
Example 7

Vind uit waaroor sy ontevrede is.
find out R.about she dissatisfied is
Find out what she is dissatisfied about.

Left-placement is also required in the case of relative clauses, as in

Example 8

Dis 'n dissipline waarmee julle reeds vertroud is.
it's a discipline R.with you already familiar are
It is a discipline with which you are already familiar.

Disjunctive use of R-pronouns occurs in infinitive clauses, such as

Example 9

middels om mee jonk te bly
cures PART with young to remain
remedies with which to stay young

but also in the case of fronting, as in

Example 10

watter aktiwiteit jy mee besig is
which activity you with busy are
with which activity you are busy

This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in spoken (informal) speech, for example:

Example 11

Wat is jy mee besig?
what are you with busy
What are you busy doing?
Example 12

Ons foon is iets mee verkeerd.
our phone is something with wrong
There is something wrong with our phone.

The use of the provisional (or indefinite) pronoun daarthere is a further factor which conditions disjunctive R-pronouns:

Example 13

Is daar straks iets mee verkeerd?
is there maybe something with wrong
Is there possibly something wrong with it?
Example 14

Daar is niks mee verkeerd nie.
there is nothing with wrong NEG
There is nothing wrong with it.

In contrast, the conjunctive structure, without the use of the provisional pronoun daar, is clear from this example:

Example 15

Wat is daarmee verkeerd?
what is R.with wrong
What is wrong with it?
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      [80%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Characteristics and classification
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