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    #1

    Are the commas needed?

    The trophy(,) that are on the top shelf(,) belongs to my brother.

    Are the commas needed? The answer says so. However, I don't think they are.

    Am I correct?

  1. moonlike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are the commas needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    The trophy(,) that are on the top shelf(,) belongs to my brother.

    Are the commas needed? The answer says so. However, I don't think they are.

    Am I correct?
    Hi
    The relative clause here (that is on the top shelf), gives us extra information about the trophy. We already know which trophy is meant so we use comma. It's called non-defining relative clause. Suppose the listener already knows about the trophy. If the listener doesn't know so there shouldn't be commas, the relative clause is a defining one and we need that information and it's not extra information that we already know.
    Good luck

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Are the commas needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    The trophy(,) that are on the top shelf(,) belongs to my brother.

    Are the commas needed? The answer says so. However, I don't think they are.

    Am I correct?
    Does your question really say "The trophy that are ..."?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Are the commas needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonlike View Post
    The relative clause here (that is on the top shelf), gives us extra information about the trophy. We already know which trophy is meant so we use comma. It's called non-defining relative clause. Suppose the listener already knows about the trophy. If the listener doesn't know so there shouldn't be commas, the relative clause is a defining one and we need that information and it's not extra information that we already know.
    There are a few slips there.

    If the relative clause is that is on the top shelf, then it can be only a defining relative clause, telling us which trophy is on the top shelf. There are no commas,

    If the clause had been giving us more information about the trophy, then it would have been a non-defining clause, within commas. However, we normally use 'which' rather than 'that' in non-defining relative clauses.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Are the commas needed?

    I agree with 5jj. Assuming that the verb is 'is', and that we must use 'that' and not 'which', the only possible sentence is:
    "The trophy that is on the top shelf belongs to my brother."

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    #6

    Re: Are the commas needed?

    Thanks to all of you for the help given.

    Sorry for the typo. The sentence should be The trophy(,) that IS on the top shelf(,) belongs to my brother.

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