Difference between revisions of "Non-defining relative clause"

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A '''non-identifying relative clause''', also known as a '''non-defining''' or '''non-restrictive relative clause''' is a [[relative clause]] that adds secondary information to a [[sentence]], almost as an afterthought. [[Punctuation|Comma]]s are used to "isolate" the clause from the rest of the sentence.
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A '''non-defining relative clause''' (/ˌnɒndəˈfaɪnɪŋ(g) ˈrelətɪv ˈklɔ:z/), also known as a '''non-identifying relative clause''', or '''non-restrictive relative clause''' is a [[relative clause]] that acts as an [[adjectival]], adding secondary information to a [[sentence]], almost as an afterthought. [[Comma]]s are used to "isolate" the clause from the rest of the sentence and if the clause is removed, the sentence remains [[well-formed]].
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== Examples ==
 
== Examples ==
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*My favourite dish is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, which is difficult to find on a restaurant menu.
 
*My favourite dish is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, which is difficult to find on a restaurant menu.
  
===You cannot use ''that''===
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===that cannot be used===
  
 
*John, who (not that) plays rugby and cricket, is always busy at weekends. [this is a bad example]
 
*John, who (not that) plays rugby and cricket, is always busy at weekends. [this is a bad example]
  
*Paul took me for a drive in his new car, which ('''not''' ''that'') he had bought last week. [this is a bad example]
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*Paul took me for a drive in his new car, which ('not' that) he had bought last week. [this is a bad example]
  
===You cannot leave out ''who'' or ''which''===
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==='who or which cannot be omitted===
  
 
*We stayed at the Grand Hotel, which Ann had recommended to us.
 
*We stayed at the Grand Hotel, which Ann had recommended to us.
  
===''whom''===
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===whom===
This is one of the few cases that you can use ''[[whom]]'' (when it is the object):
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This is one of the few cases that [[whom]] can be used (when it is the object):
  
 
*This morning I met Diane, who (or whom) I hadn’t seen since Christmas.
 
*This morning I met Diane, who (or whom) I hadn’t seen since Christmas.
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== Parentheses ==
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Instead of [[comma]]s, [[parentheses]] can be used for extra distancing from the main clause, e.g:
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* My brother (who is an engineer) has been working in the same company for over twenty-five years.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
<references/>
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<references/>[[category:index]]
  
  
[[Category:Relative clauses]]
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[[category:relative clauses]]

Latest revision as of 13:27, 25 May 2020

A non-defining relative clause (/ˌnɒndəˈfaɪnɪŋ(g) ˈrelətɪv ˈklɔ:z/), also known as a non-identifying relative clause, or non-restrictive relative clause is a relative clause that acts as an adjectival, adding secondary information to a sentence, almost as an afterthought. Commas are used to "isolate" the clause from the rest of the sentence and if the clause is removed, the sentence remains well-formed.


Examples[edit]

  • My brother, who is an engineer, has been working in the same company for over twenty-five years.
  • My favourite dish is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, which is difficult to find on a restaurant menu.

that cannot be used[edit]

  • John, who (not that) plays rugby and cricket, is always busy at weekends. [this is a bad example]
  • Paul took me for a drive in his new car, which ('not' that) he had bought last week. [this is a bad example]

'who or which cannot be omitted[edit]

  • We stayed at the Grand Hotel, which Ann had recommended to us.

whom[edit]

This is one of the few cases that whom can be used (when it is the object):

  • This morning I met Diane, who (or whom) I hadn’t seen since Christmas.

Parentheses[edit]

Instead of commas, parentheses can be used for extra distancing from the main clause, e.g:

  • My brother (who is an engineer) has been working in the same company for over twenty-five years.

References[edit]