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  1. #1
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Adjective clause pronouns

    According to one English grammar book, it says: "General guideline: Place an adjective clasue pronoun as close as possible to the noun it modifies." If I take this word right, does this mean a) is better than b) in the following sentences (if I want to modify the noun "that lady")?

    a) That lady, who grew up in a rich family, in my class is my friend.
    b) That lady in my class, who grew up in a rich family, is my friend.

    Also, what if there were no commas?

    I am confused. Please help me figure it out.

  2. #2
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    Re: Adjective clause pronouns

    I think a) is better if you want to modify the noun that lady...

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Adjective clause pronouns

    gorikaz: According to one English grammar book, it says:

    "General guideline: Place an adjective clasue pronoun as close as possible to the noun it modifies." If I take this word right, does this mean a) is better than b) in the following sentences (if I want to modify the noun "that lady")?

    That's a pretty good general guideline that describes how ENLs speak and write, Gorikaz. But remember this and it's very very important. How we phrase our language is determined by CONTEXT. The surrounding context, what is known by the people involved in the conversation, determines how we proceed with what language.


    a) That lady, who grew up in a rich family, in my class is my friend.
    b) That lady in my class, who grew up in a rich family, is my friend.

    Also, what if there were no commas?

    Sentence a) is a bit strange. The phrase, "in my class", is a reduced 'adjective clause'.

    "That lady [who is] in my class, who grew up in a rich family, is my friend."

    The whole point of these 'adjective clauses' is to let the listeners know who it is that we're discussing. 'in my class' may well provide enough context for the listeners or there could be other cues/context that will fill them in.

    The phrase, 'who grew up in a rich family' could be more needed info that describes the woman, so it doesn't necessarily have to have commas. Context is VERY IMPORTANT to knowing how these types of sentences have to work.


    Alice: That lady [who is] in my class who grew up in a rich family [Bill interrupts] Oh you mean Maggy. ... yeah she's my friend.

    Bill was clued in by 'who grew up in a rich family' because he knew that about Maggy.

    Alice:That lady [who is] in my class [Bill interrups] Oh you mean Maggy. ...yeah, who grew up in a rich family [by the way], ... well she's my friend.

    Here Bill knew the lady after "in my class", so the 'rich family' part became extra info and it then got the commas which in speech would be noted by a change in intonation and sometimes, the addition of a phrase like 'by the way'.

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