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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    restrictive or non-restrivtive

    Does
    A-"My brother in Japan"
    necessarily mean:
    1-My brother who is in Japan (I have more than one brother, and I am talking about that brother of mine who is in Japan)
    or could it also mean:
    2-My brother, who is in Japan (I have one brother and he is in Japan)

  2. #2
    gwendolinest Guest
    Id go for 1 (My brother who is in Japan).

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  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thank you Gwen. That was what I thought too. But I am not sure that the phrase would not admit a non-restrictive interpretation.

    Actually, my three questions were sort of related. Would you say that:
    1-The assasination of Kennedy in Dallas ...
    is restrictive?
    in that case we would always have to say, and write, "the assassination of Kennedy, in Dallas, ..."

    Check my other question: adverb of place: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=481

    In her reply to that question, Southboca says:

    1-"My brother, in Boston, takes the bus to work every day."
    Meaning: In the U.S., we wouldn't use commas in this sentence. Without the commas, the sentence means that your brother, who lives in Boston, takes the bus to work every day.

    So, it seems that to her, the phrase "My brother in Boston..." can be interpreted as a non-restrictive noun phrase.

    Note: I am sure that all native speakers use these structures correctly in practice, but when they start thinking about them, they might get confused. The same is true about me as far as my own mother tongue is concerned, only, there is nobody who wants to learn it, and so there is nobody around to ask me this kind of stupid question. I am saying this lest somebody should be offended by my questions.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    1-"My brother, in Boston, takes the bus to work every day."
    Meaning: In the U.S., we wouldn't use commas in this sentence. Without the commas, the sentence means that your brother, who lives in Boston, takes the bus to work every day.
    The commas, to me, mean that he does this in Boston, implying that he might travel by other means elsewhere.

  5. #5
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks TDOL.

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