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    #1

    Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    States and public authorities have for the most part intervened to a limited extent in sport, instead leaving the organization and regulation of sport in the hands of sports federations. Sport is, however, increasingly attracting the attention of governments, which are utilizing it to achieve social and economic objectives.

    Should there be a comma before "which"? I'm not sure whether the "which" clause is restrictive or not.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    States and public authorities have for the most part intervened to a limited extent in sport, instead leaving the organization and regulation of sport in the hands of sports federations. Sport is, however, increasingly attracting the attention of governments, which are utilizing it to achieve social and economic objectives.

    Should there be a comma before "which"? I'm not sure whether the "which" clause is restrictive or not.

    Thanks.
    If you left out the commas (restrictive), you'd be stating that sport was only attracting the attention of those governments who were already utilizing it to achieve social and economic objectives.
    That might be your meaning.
    If it is, you'd need to explain why these governments are utilizing sport in such a way if sport hasn't attracted their attention yet.

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    #3

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    States and public authorities have for the most part intervened to a limited extent in sport, instead leaving the organization and regulation of sport in the hands of sports federations. Sport is, however, increasingly attracting the attention of governments, which are utilizing it to achieve social and economic objectives.

    Should there be a comma before "which"? I'm not sure whether the "which" clause is restrictive or not.

    Thanks.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Jasmin.

    (1) Maybe (maybe) the sentence you have presented us shows

    why some teachers insist on using "that" for restrictive clauses

    and "which" for non-restrictive clauses.

    (2) Sport is attracting the attention of governments THAT are

    utilizing it to achieve social objectives. For example, countries

    such as X, Y, and Z.

    (3) Sport is attracting the attention of governments, WHICH are

    utilizing it to achieve social objectives. This is a growing trend among

    governments.


    Have a nice day.

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    #4

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    States and public authorities have for the most part intervened to a limited extent in sport, instead leaving the organization and regulation of sport in the hands of sports federations. Sport is, however, increasingly attracting the attention of governments, which are utilizing it to achieve social and economic objectives.

    Should there be a comma before "which"? I'm not sure whether the "which" clause is restrictive or not.

    Thanks.
    If governments are already utilizing sport for the purpose of achieving certain 'social and economic objectives', sport already has their attention. Therefore, doesn't this only make sense if the clause is non-restrictive?

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    #5

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Well, to me, it's just not English with a restrictive clause. You can only attract someone's attention if their attention is not currently attracted. I think you'd have to say 'even more attention from countries that are already utilizing sport ...'

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    #6

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Jasmin.

    (1) Maybe (maybe) the sentence you have presented us shows

    why some teachers insist on using "that" for restrictive clauses

    and "which" for non-restrictive clauses.

    (2) Sport is attracting the attention of governments THAT are

    utilizing it to achieve social objectives. For example, countries

    such as X, Y, and Z.

    (3) Sport is attracting the attention of governments, WHICH are

    utilizing it to achieve social objectives. This is a growing trend among

    governments.


    Have a nice day.
    Although I adhere to the distinction between "that" and "which," I think the distinction is unnecessary, at least in written English. The comma distinguishes a restrictive clause from a nonrestrictive one. If there's no comma before a clause, then the clause is restrictive. It's that simple.

    Only in spoken English could there actually be uncertainty as to whether a clause is restrictive or not, since we don't know whether there's a comma before it. Of course, the speaker could help us by making a pause to signal the comma. I think that in cases where there truly is uncertainty, context and common sense tell us what the speaker is trying to communicate.

    My problem is determining whether a clause is restrictive or not. A restrictive clause is usually defined as something that is essential to the meaning of a sentence, but whether something is essential or not is often open to interpretation. I think the term "restrictive clause" is indefinable and its meaning varies according to context.

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    #7

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    If there's no comma before a clause, then the clause is restrictive. It's that simple..
    No, unfortunatelly that is not that simple. Semantic and pragmatic factors play an important role in the syntax of relative clauses.

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    #8

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Although I adhere to the distinction between "that" and "which," I think the distinction is unnecessary, at least in written English. The comma distinguishes a restrictive clause from a nonrestrictive one. If there's no comma before a clause, then the clause is restrictive. It's that simple. Not quite that simple: you cannot use 'that' before a non-restrictive clause; you can use 'which' before either a restrictive or a non-restrictive clause. Two useful points if in doubt (one from me, the other from, I think, Raymott in an earlier thread):

    'which'/'who' is never wrong; 'that' may be wrong
    if it's a comment use a comma

    Only in spoken English could there actually be uncertainty as to whether a clause is restrictive or not, since we don't know whether there's a comma before it. Of course, the speaker could help us by making a pause to signal the comma. I think that in cases where there truly is uncertainty, context and common sense tell us what the speaker is trying to communicate.

    My problem is determining whether a clause is restrictive or not. A restrictive clause is usually defined as something that is essential to the meaning of a sentence, but whether something is essential or not is often open to interpretation. I think the term "restrictive clause" is indefinable and its meaning varies according to context.
    Bertie

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    #9

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    I'll give you another example.

    Bruno Walrave and Longinus Koch, Dutch professional pacemakers in motor-paced cycle races, brought an action before the District Court of Utrecht against the Union Cycliste Internationale(UCI) and the Dutch and Spanish cycling federations. The UCI had drawn up a rule requiring the pacemaker and the stayer to be of the same nationality in races of the said type, which the plaintiffs considered discriminatory.

    I'm pretty sure that "which the plaintiffs considered discriminatory" should be preceded by a comma, but one could certainly make the argument that it's a restrictive clause. Why? Because it provides an essential piece of information; namely, it tells us why Bruno Walrave and Longinus Koch brought an action before the District Court of Utrecht.
    Last edited by Allen165; 30-May-2010 at 18:57.

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    #10

    Re: Restrictive or nonrestrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    Bertie
    I was aware of the fact that "that" cannot be used to introduce a nonrestrictive clause.

    Thanks.

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