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    #1

    restrictive clause

    "Her legal education began at the University of Zurich, where she took a wide range of courses and specialized in criminal law. She also participated in a student exchange program at the University of Michigan Law School that enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system."

    I think ", which enabled...." would be wrong? Would you agree?

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "Her legal education began at the University of Zurich, where she took a wide range of courses and specialized in criminal law. She also participated in a student exchange program at the University of Michigan Law School that enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system."

    I think ", which enabled...." would be wrong? Would you agree?

    Thanks.
    Yes, I agree.

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    #3

    Re: restrictive clause

    She also participated in a student exchange program at the University of Michigan Law School that enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system."

    Take out the superfluous bits:

    She participated in a student exchange program that/which enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system.

    I think you can happily use either.

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    #4

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "Her legal education began at the University of Zurich, where she took a wide range of courses and specialized in criminal law. She also participated in a student exchange program at the University of Michigan Law School that enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system."

    I think ", which enabled...." would be wrong? Would you agree?

    Thanks.
    Not wrong at all, simply rather unnatural, although considerably more so for BrE than for AmE speakers. Note that the intended antecedent of the relative pronoun here is 'a student exchange program', not 'the University of Michigan Law School'.

    You may possibly be confusing the rule that 'that' may not introduce a nonrestrictive relative clause with the stylistic fact that it is generally preferred to 'which' in the restrictive type.

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    #5

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Not wrong at all, simply rather unnatural, although considerably more so for BrE than for AmE speakers. Note that the intended antecedent of the relative pronoun here is 'a student exchange program', not 'the University of Michigan Law School'.

    You may possibly be confusing the rule that 'that' may not introduce a nonrestrictive relative clause with the stylistic fact that it is generally preferred to 'which' in the restrictive type.
    Did you see the comma before "which"? Assuming that it's a restrictive clause, the comma would be wrong.

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    #6

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Did you see the comma before "which"? Assuming that it's a restrictive clause, the comma would be wrong.
    ", which" is OK. Written that way, it's a non-restrictive clause referring to the whole of the previous sentence.
    It's her having participated that "enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system".
    "The earth revolves around the sun, which is interesting." (The sun isn't interesting; the fact is.)
    If the clause does refer to "student exchange program", then yes, it's restrictive, and doesn't take a comma. But it's also awkward, IMO.
    Last edited by Raymott; 08-Oct-2010 at 17:27.

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    #7

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    ", which" is OK. Written that way, it's a non-restrictive clause referring to the whole of the previous sentence.
    It's her having participated that "enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system".
    "The earth revolves around the sun, which is interesting." (The sun isn't interesting; the fact is.)
    If the clause does refer to "student exchange program", then yes, it's restrictive, and doesn't take a comma. But it's also awkward, IMO.
    I read it as referring to "student exchange program". I agree that in "The earth revolves around the sun, which is interesting" the clause refers to the fact of the earth revolving, but I see Jasmine's sentence differently.

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    #8

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    ", which" is OK. Written that way, it's a non-restrictive clause referring to the whole of the previous sentence.
    It's her having participated that "enabled her to obtain an understanding of a common law system".
    "The earth revolves around the sun, which is interesting." (The sun isn't interesting; the fact is.)
    If the clause does refer to "student exchange program", then yes, it's restrictive, and doesn't take a comma. But it's also awkward, IMO.
    I'm not sure I get the relevance of your example. I don't think anyone would ever say, "The earth revolves around the sun that is interesting." That wouldn't make much sense.

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    #9

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    I'm not sure I get the relevance of your example. I don't think anyone would ever say, "The earth revolves around the sun that is interesting." That wouldn't make much sense.
    It was a bad example. But it was just an illustration giving another sentence in which a "which" clause refers to the whole sentence.
    I'm answering 'no' to your original question.

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    #10

    Re: restrictive clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Did you see the comma before "which"? Assuming that it's a restrictive clause, the comma would be wrong.
    Actually, I must confess that I didn't , but it really still wouldn't render the sentence unacceptable (i.e. to substitute a correctly formed nonrestrictive for a correctly formed restrictive clause). The comma could well be seen, however as somewhat redundant.

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