Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    The which in a relative clause

    Sometimes there can be more than 1 nouns in a sentence with a relative clause like this:

    "The vase in black features a round base, which is a stylish addition to your room decor."

    This is just a very rough and random sentence. No need to focus too much on its logic. The question I want to ask is simple: in case the sentence before the relative clause has more than 1 nouns, the "which" in the relative clause MUST refer to the closest noun before it. Am I right?

    If I am right, then this sentence is illogical because a round base normally cannot do much in making your room decor stylish. Am I right?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: The which in a relative clause

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    The question I want to ask is simple: in case the sentence before the relative clause has more than 1 nouns, the "which" in the relative clause MUST refer to the closest noun before it. Am I right?
    That is usually true, but there is no MUST. Common sense is more important than abstract logic.

    I have never regretted buying my house in France, which has doubled in value over the last five years.

    It's pretty safe to assume that what has doubled in value is the house, not France.
    If I am right, then this sentence is illogical because a round base normally cannot do much in making your room decor stylish. Am I right?
    You never know. Round bases may be the in thing this year.

    Seriously, the sentence you have created is clumsy. It really needs to be:

    The vase in black, which is a stylish addition to your room decor. features a round base.


    I'd say more simply, "That black vase with a round base is ..."

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: The which in a relative clause

    Then are there any principles behind writing a sentence with a relative clause? Like do native people generally prioritize "clarity" when writing this kind of sentence?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 23,077
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: The which in a relative clause

    Quote Originally Posted by kachibi View Post
    Then are there any principles behind writing a sentence with a relative clause? Like do native people generally prioritize "clarity" when writing this kind of sentence?
    Surely the point of writing something for others to read is that the reader should be able to understand it.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 131
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: The which in a relative clause

    Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] WHERE or WHICH? in relative clause
    By ssandra1 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2011, 05:35
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2010, 15:13
  3. [Grammar] relative clause(past participle clause )
    By nono1994 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-Jan-2010, 11:23
  4. relative clause
    By katerina.pata in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2009, 02:47
  5. relative clause
    By Unregistered in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Dec-2006, 04:40

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •