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  1. sky3120's Avatar
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    #1

    What if there is a pause in front of restrictive relative clauses?

    If someone has a pause for 1~2 seconds in front of restrictive relative clauses, not non restrictive relative clauses, how do you native English speakers feel? And how do you figure out whether it is restrictive or non restrictive?

    For example,

    Do you know anyone who can speak English?
    ->Do you know anyone...who can speak English?
    We easily know "who can speak English" modifies anyone but if someone say the sentence with a pause in front of "who", what do you feel and think? And why could there be a pause? Thank you for your help and time as usual.

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What if there is a pause in front of restrictive relative clauses?

    If there is a pause, I presume that the speaker is thinking or having a drink of water or something. 'Do you know anyone' is still going to precede a restrictive clause, so I just wait it out and see how s/he finishes the sentence.

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    #3

    Re: What if there is a pause in front of restrictive relative clauses?

    People often pause when speaking- I wouldn't think anything of it. If they did it repeatedly and only before relative clauses, I might wonder why, but not otherwise.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What if there is a pause in front of restrictive relative clauses?

    Questions like this make me feel this is a forum devoted to Creative Writing. People may pause as they speak, and the pause can either carry meaning or not. And how I feel about it is...'as long as a piece of string'.

    Let me think: 'Do you know anyone...who can speak English?'

    What I might think is this: For reasons implied only by the context, this person is asking a series of questions in the same format: "Do you know anyone...who <verb>?" They have been playing this strange game for some time, and are having difficulty thinking of a new verb. The time they take indicates how close they are to giving up. I'm finding the whole thing a bit tiresome, so I feel glad that they're reaching the end of their tether.

    (Time for my medication.)

    b

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