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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    assumes we know which builder is intended

    This might be an extended thread from my "Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1857, was a man of integrity". In that one, BC told me that whether to use a restrictive or non-restrictive clause depends on the scope of the discussion.

    I found a little bit different opinion about that from the following about "restrictive or non-restrictive clause". It says it depends on the writer's assumption, so I think if the writer thinks readers may not know the person he is dealing with, he may write "Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1857 was a man of integrity" to distinguish him from other possible "Yoo Sungryoungs". What do you think? Does it depend on the scope of the discussion or the writer's assumption?

    English relative clauses - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (1) The builder, who erects very fine houses, will make a large profit. (non-restrictive)
    (2) The builder who erects very fine houses will make a large profit. (restrictive)
    The first example, with commas, and with three short intonation curves, contains a non-restrictive relative clause. It refers to a specific builder, and assumes we know which builder is intended. It tells us firstly about his houses, then about his profits. The second example uses a restrictive relative clause. Without the commas, and with a single intonation curve, the sentence states that any builder who builds such houses will make profits.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: assumes we know which builder is intended

    Without more context and with that punctuation, I would assume it was one of a number of Yoos.

  3. #3
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    Re: assumes we know which builder is intended

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Without more context and with that punctuation, I would assume it was one of a number of Yoos.
    In my opinion, that is possible only as "The Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1857 was a man of integrity" - As BC suggested here.

  4. #4
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    Re: assumes we know which builder is intended

    Okay, I can understand the restrictive usage. But for non-restrictive usage, without any previous context, when the writer writes "Yoo Sungryong", does he assume readers know which specific person he is trying to talk about as in the explanation? Is that why he uses a comma?

    "Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1857, was a man of integrity"

    It refers to a specific builder and assumes we know which "Yoo" is intended

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    Re: assumes we know which builder is intended

    The writer does not necessarily assume that the readers knows who Yoo was. It may be the writer's intention to tell his readers all about Yoo. He uses the comma as the first of the pair which mark off the non-defining relative clause.

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