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    #1

    "... life when ..." or "... life, when ..."?

    ESL Writing Lesson - Using Non-Defining Relative Clauses
    Non-Defining Clauses

    In non-defining relative clauses, the information is not essential to understanding the sentence, but gives additional information.

    Examples:

    Mr. Brown, who enjoys going to the theater, has been invited to join our club.
    Whiting House, which was built in 1856, is an important local monument.


    Mother finds son after 25 years via Facebook | Technology | guardian.co.uk
    It was the happiest day of her life when she met her son.

    To me, when she met her son is a non-defining clause. Is "... life when ..." wrong? Is "... life, when ..." correct?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "... life when ..." or "... life, when ..."?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsunmoon View Post
    ESL Writing Lesson - Using Non-Defining Relative Clauses
    Non-Defining Clauses

    In non-defining relative clauses, the information is not essential to understanding the sentence, but gives additional information.

    Examples:

    Mr. Brown, who enjoys going to the theater, has been invited to join our club.
    Whiting House, which was built in 1856, is an important local monument.


    Mother finds son after 25 years via Facebook | Technology | guardian.co.uk
    It was the happiest day of her life when she met her son.

    To me, when she met her son is a non-defining clause. Is "... life when ..." wrong? Is "... life, when ..." correct?
    I'd call this a defining clause. Say it out loud. There's no pause, no comma.
    "When she met her son" defines the whole main clause (or day).
    What was the happiest day of her life? The day (when) she met her son.
    "The day she met her son was the happiest day of her life."

    Your other examples don't define which Mr. Brown or which Whiting House; but this clause does define which day.
    Otherwise, you have, "It was the happiest day of her life (for some other reason), when she met her son (adding some unrelated information).
    Last edited by Raymott; 05-Mar-2011 at 09:21.

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