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  1. #1
    azz is offline Member
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    a lion, which is ....

    Can one say:

    a. That is a lion, which is a dangerous animal.

    The speaker means to say that that is a lion and the lion is a dangerous animal. So there is a general statement following a particular one. I think the sentence is fine as it is, but then again, we can have:

    b. That is a lion, which is in a cage.

    Here the clause defines a certain lion. In the first case, the clause (claws?!!) tells us something about all lions.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
    SlickVic9000 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: a lion, which is ....

    (Not a Teacher)

    They're both acceptable though 'b' sounds like something you'd hear on a zoo tour tram driven by the world's most boring tour guide with a charming penchant for saying incredibly obvious things.

  3. #3
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: a lion, which is ....

    Yes, both are acceptable as written: a nonrestrictive clause may refer equally to the generic (a) and specific (b) senses of the indefinite article.

  4. #4
    azz is offline Member
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    Re: a lion, which is ....

    Thank you very much.

    But what about these:

    c. That is a lion, which can tear you apart.
    d. That is a lion, which is capable of killing people.
    e. That is a lion, which eats meat.

    I don't think they would work if the generic meaning was intended. Am I wrong?

    Many thanks.

  5. #5
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: a lion, which is ....

    Quote Originally Posted by azz View Post
    I don't think they would work if the generic meaning was intended.
    They could.

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