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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default clarification wanted

    Can you please tell me if there is substantial difference in these sentences ( I myself hardly see any).

    He enjoyed reading the stories, which were short.
    He enjoyed reading the stories which were short.


    My aunt,who lives in Paris, has 6 grandchildren.
    My aunt who lives in Paris has 6 grandchildren.


    Regarding the last couple our teacher of English told that the first sentence (with commas) implies that there is ONLY ONE aunt ,while the second (without commas) implies that there is more than one aunt. I personally see very little difference between them and think that saying that they differ significantly is a big exagerration.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: clarification wanted

    The issue here is restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses.

    In the first sentence, the main point is that the reader enjoyed the stories. The fact that the stories were short is not essential information, so that clause was set off with a comma and introduced by the relative pronoun, which. The second sentence, if it was supposed to have a restrictive relative clause, should have been written like this:

    He enjoyed reading the stories that were short.

    In this sentence, the meaning is that he only enjoyed the short stories.

    It is not an exaggeration to say that these sentences differ significantly; they have completely different meanings.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: clarification wanted

    Words within commas are extra information. It's like saying, by the way.
    Words without commas are important information. It's like saying, specifically.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: clarification wanted

    Oops. Didn't see you there mykwyner.

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