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  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    The sentence:

    Arriving at the beach, people stake out a small territorial claim, marking it with rugs, towels, baskets and other belongings to which they can return from their seaboard wanderings.

    About "which" above, which words does it refer to?:

    (a) which=other belongings
    (b) which=rugs, towels, baskets and other belongings

    I think it's (a), but my book says it's (b)...

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    Arriving at the beach, people stake out a small territorial claim, marking it with rugs, towels, baskets and other belongings which they can return to from their seaboard wanderings.


    At the first glance, I think it's (a). But to give it a second thought, I don't see anything wrong with the lovely 'bee'. Let's wait for teachers to clarify.

    :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Arriving at the beach, people stake out a small territorial claim, marking it with rugs, towels, baskets and other belongings which they can return to from their seaboard wanderings.


    At the first glance, I think it's (a). But to give it a second thought, I don't see anything wrong with the lovely 'bee'. Let's wait for teachers to clarify.

    :D
    I would say b. They return to all of their belongings.

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    If it were not restrictive use, (b) might be possible. But as "to which" is restrictive without a comma in front, my choice is (a).

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    Wow! blacknomi, you have become a key member!

    Congrats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    If it were not restrictive use, (b) might be possible. But as "to which" is restrictive without a comma in front, my choice is (a).
    I agree with you. If you insert a comma in front of 'which', it changes the meaning. :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Wow! blacknomi, you have become a key member!
    Congrats!
    Thanks,Taka. I'm on my way to learn Japanese now. hehe

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Thanks,Taka. I'm on my way to learn Japanese now. hehe
    Really? That's great.

    If there is anything I can do to help you, let me know. Anytime. :wink:

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Any comments, tdol?

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Why can't a restrictive relative define more than one item? Logically, the main points of guidance are the towels and rugs, so I'd say the 'to which' refers to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Why can't a restrictive relative define more than one item?

    Objection! Your Honor.

    If a restrictive relative could define more than one item, what would non-restrictive relative do?

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Why can't a restrictive relative define more than one item? Logically, the main points of guidance are the towels and rugs, so I'd say the 'to which' refers to them.
    OK, the sentence has this in front:

    It is one of the tragedies of modern architecture that there has been a standardization of there vital territorial living-units. One of the most important aspects of a home is that it should be similar to other homes only in a general way, and that in detail it should have many differences, making it a particular home. Unfortunately, it is cheaper to build a row of houses, or a block of flats, so that all the family living-units are identical, but the territorial urge rebels against this trend and house-owners struggle as best they can to make their mark on their mass-produced properties. They do this with garden-design, with front door colours, with curtain patterns, with wall paper and all the other decorative elements that together create a unique and different family environment. Only when they have completed this nest-building do they feel truly at home and secure.

    When they venture forth as a family unit they repeat the process in a minor way. On a day-trip to the seaside, they load the car with personal belongings and it becomes their temporary, portable territory. Arriving at...


    In this context, it is obvious that rugs, towels, baskets are, as garden-design curtain patters, and wall paper, markers for their territories. There is no need to explain that people come back to them.

    Plus, if the restrictive "which" modified them, it would mean that there were at least two kinds of rugs, towels, baskets: those we come back to and those we leave behind and never return to. And its interpretation would be like "people leave a particular kind of rugs, towels, baskets that they come back to", which I think is really strange.

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