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  1. #1
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default , which can refer to a noun or the previous

    Hi,

    Question:
    is my opinion correct?
    , which can refer to a noun or the previous clause.
    But sometimes , which can refer to a noun only.


    Sentence1:
    Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment, which jumped 154,000.
    my opinion:
    which refer to the previous part of the sentence <---- not make sense
    so the which can refer to the closest noun only

    Sentence2:
    Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment, which I analyze.
    my opinion:
    (1) which refer to "service-providing employment" <---- make sense (analyze the service-providing employment)
    (2) which refer to the previous part of the sentence <---- make sense (analyze how the Employment in May was supported by the service....)
    which can refer to a noun or the previous clause, so this sentence is not clear enough.


    thanks
    Last edited by uktous; 27-Jun-2011 at 15:51.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: , which can refer to a noun or the previous

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    is my opinion correct?
    , which can refer to a noun or the previous clause.
    But sometimes , which can refer to a noun only.


    Sentence1:
    Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment, which jumped 154,000.
    my opinion:
    which refer to the previous part of the sentence <---- not make sense
    so the which can refer to the closest noun only

    Sentence2:
    Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment, which I analyze.
    my opinion:
    (1) which refer to "service-providing employment" <---- make sense (analyze the service-providing employment)
    (2) which refer to the previous part of the sentence <---- make sense (analyze how the Employment in May was supported by the service....)
    which can refer to a noun or the previous clause, so this sentence is not clear enough.


    thanks
    Your basic premise is correct, "Which" can refer to either the preceding noun, or to the whole clause.
    However, your sentences are not good examples. Firstly, it just adds more ambiguity to have the subject "Employment" being the same word as the noun before the "which" - "employment". Secondly, what does it mean to analyse "Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment"? It doesn't make sense. Do you mean "the employment-providing service"?
    Here is a sentence which makes sense, and which exemplifies your point:
    "Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service, which was an expected outcome."

  3. #3
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: , which can refer to a noun or the previous

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Your basic premise is correct, "Which" can refer to either the preceding noun, or to the whole clause.
    However, your sentences are not good examples. Firstly, it just adds more ambiguity to have the subject "Employment" being the same word as the noun before the "which" - "employment". Secondly, what does it mean to analyse "Employment in May was supported by the service-providing employment"? It doesn't make sense. Do you mean "the employment-providing service"?
    Here is a sentence which makes sense, and which exemplifies your point:
    "Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service, which was an expected outcome."
    thank you

    I added an extra information on your sentence:
    Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service of 5000, which was an expected outcome.



    so the sentence can have 2 implications.

    implication1:

    the fact that Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service of 5000 was an expected outcome.

    implication2:
    the employment-providing service of 5000 was an expected outcome.




    so in this case, the which can refer to the noun or whole clause.

    right?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: , which can refer to a noun or the previous

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    thank you

    I added an extra information on your sentence:
    Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service of 5000, which was an expected outcome.



    so the sentence can have 2 implications.

    implication1:
    the fact that Employment in May was boosted by the employment-providing service of 5000 was an expected outcome.

    implication2:
    the employment-providing service of 5000 was an expected outcome.




    so in this case, the which can refer to the noun or whole clause.

    right?
    No, because i) "the employment-providing service of 5000" doesn't make sense, and ii) a service isn't an outcome, while the boosting of income is.

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