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    #1

    Comma in a sentence

    I found the following sentences in a grammar book.

    1). My sister, whom you met on the tour, has moved to Macau.
    2). The boy, whose dog was run over by a car, is still sad.
    (To remain the same meaning, can I delete the comma in the above sentences?)

    3) The boy who was sick went to see a doctor.
    (To remain the same meaning, can I add commas behind 'boy' and 'sick' in the above sentence?)

    Are there rules to apply comma in a sentence?


    Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Comma in a sentence

    The main subject is restrictive relative clause (no commas) and nonrestrictive relative clause (commas). A restrictive clause is essential for the meaning of the sentence. A nonrestrictive clause is information that is not essential for the meaning of the sentence.

    In sentences 2 and 3, the clauses appear to be essential because they identify the boys being discussed. That means no commas (restrictive).

    Number 1 is tricky. If the speaker has only one sister, the commas are needed because the information is not essential for meaning (nonrestrictive). If the speaker has more than one sister, the clause is essential to identify a particular sister, so no commas are used (restrictive).

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    #3

    Re: Comma in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The main subject is restrictive relative clause (no commas) and nonrestrictive relative clause (commas). A restrictive clause is essential for the meaning of the sentence. A nonrestrictive clause is information that is not essential for the meaning of the sentence.

    In sentences 2 and 3, the clauses appear to be essential because they identify the boys being discussed. That means no commas (restrictive).

    Number 1 is tricky. If the speaker has only one sister, the commas are needed because the information is not essential for meaning (nonrestrictive). If the speaker has more than one sister, the clause is essential to identify a particular sister, so no commas are used (restrictive).

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your reply.

    It seems very difficult to make a sentence with nonrestrictive relative clause even I tried hard to. Would you mind giving me more examples so I can have a thorough understanding of the differences?

    Thank you.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Comma in a sentence

    If you are looking for examples of nonrestrictive clauses, there are many on the Internet. Just Google "nonrestrictive clauses".

    One example is here.

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