# Thread: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

1. ## Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

Hi,

Quick question on defining and non-defining relative clauses.

The fireman who works in the town is very young?
or
The fireman, who works in the town, is very young?

Which is correct? First, second or both -depending on context.

Thanks

ReusableObject

2. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

Originally Posted by reusableobject
Hi,

Quick question on defining and non-defining relative clauses.

The fireman who works in the town is very young?
This is a defining (restrictive) clause. It specifies which fireman is very young.

or
The fireman, who works in the town, is very young?

Which is correct? First, second or both -depending on context.
It depends on what you want to say.

Thanks

ReusableObject
R.

3. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

I think I can provide examples, please correct them if they're wrong.

Two people are talking about two firemen:
"How old is the fireman?"
"Which one? The fireman who works outside the town is quite old. The other one, the fireman who works in the town is very young."

I got two know two people today, a policeman, and a fireman. The policeman, who works outside the town, is quite old. The fireman, who works in the town, is very young.

4. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

Originally Posted by birdeen's call
I think I can provide examples, please correct them if they're wrong.

Two people are talking about two firemen:
"How old is the fireman?"
"Which one? The fireman who works outside the town is quite old. The other one, the fireman who works in the town, is very young."
Note that you need paired commas around a non-restrictive clause if it's parenthetical.

I got to know two people today, a policeman and a fireman. The policeman, who works outside the town, is quite old. The fireman, who works in the town, is very young.
R.

5. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

Thanks, Raymott!
Why is the comma between "policeman"(comma?) and "and" incorrect? Isn't a serial comma? The idea of the serial comma is strange to me because we don't have it in my language. I thought that's how I should use it...

6. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

Originally Posted by birdeen's call
Thanks, Raymott!
Why is the comma between "policeman"(comma?) and "and" incorrect? Isn't a serial comma? The idea of the serial comma is strange to me because we don't have it in my language. I thought that's how I should use it...
No, that is not a serial comma. You don't put a comma between only two items, and you need at least three items for a serial comma.
This is a serial comma: I got to know three people today - a politician, a policeman, and a fireman.
If you got to know "two people, a policeman, and fireman", that's four people altogether.

7. ## Re: Defining and Non-defining relative clauses

[QUOTE=reusableobject;637276]Hi,

Quick question on defining and non-defining relative clauses.

The fireman who works in the town is very young?
or
The fireman, who works in the town, is very young?

Which is correct? First, second or both -depending on context.

Thanks

(The fireman who works in the town is very young?) is correct.

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