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    #1

    relative clause or participle?

    "Happy" is an adjective, which means someone is having feelings of pleasure.

    "Happy" is an adjective, meaning someone is having feelings of pleasure.

    Are these sentences carrying the same meaning, and which of them is more natural?

    Thank you.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: relative clause or participle?

    same meaning

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    #3

    Re: relative clause or participle?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    I think that your sentence shows how important a comma is.

    I believe that your sentence should NOT have a comma:

    ""Happy" is a an adjective that / which means someone is having feelings of pleasure. ["that" is preferable in the States for defining clauses.]

    Now look at your original sentence:

    "Happy" is an adjective, which means someone is having feelings of pleasure.

    a. I agree that everyone would easily understand that "someone is having feelings of pleasure" refers to the word "happy."
    b. But -- at least in theory -- the comma has changed the defining adjective clause into a non-defining clause. So -- in theory -- you are saying that "someone is having feelings of pleasure" is the definition of "adjective."

    Compare: The word "happy" is an adjective, which is a word that describes a noun or pronoun.


    James

    P.S. I would rewrite it as: The adjective "happy" means that someone is having feelings of pleasure.
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Feb-2015 at 14:13. Reason: spelling

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: relative clause or participle?

    James, I agree with you that comma is incorrect in both examples.

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