After Justice Gorsuch was sworn in, he gave a speech that included this line:
And to the American people, I am humbled by the trust placed in me today. I will never forget that to whom much is given, much will be expected. And I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.
Source: Business Insider
While the intended meaning was clear, I contend that this is incorrect. I believe it should be: I will never forget that from whom much is given, much will be expected.
Both “it was given to him” and “it was given him” are acceptable. But it’s not acceptable to drop the “from” in “it is expected from him.”
Am I correct?
No, this is an ungrammatical reformulation of the biblical quote. The section “whom much is given” is a free relative clause (a relative clause with no antecedent noun). It’s the object of the preposition to. It represents a person and we can substitute it with the simple pronoun “him” to get a sense of the clause –
- “to him much is expected”
Or to put the parts of the larger clause in their normal order –
- “much is expected to him”
As you can see, this is gobbledygook.