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    #1

    The hungry prisoners

    Here is a sentence about which I cannot decide if it is a non-defining or defining clause. Would you please take a look at it at correct the mistakes. Is the "which gave them...." defining as I wrote it, or non-defining?

    Sometimes the hungry prisoners worked in the fields and found an odd carrot or cabbage which gave them supplemental nutrition.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    It is, as you wrote it, defining

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    In this sentence, I could go either way. With non-defining clauses, the clause can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence. In this case, the sentence could end with "cabbage" with no loss in meaning. That said, I would not use a comma there.

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    #4

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    Sometimes the hungry prisoners worked in the fields and found an odd carrot or cabbage.

    The sentence sounds odd without the subsequent clause.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    Not to me.

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    #6

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    Sometimes the hungry prisoners worked in the fields and found an odd carrot or cabbage.
    It doesn't sound odd to me either.

    Mike, is the reason you are happy to lose the final section of the sentence because the word "hungry" in the remaining part tells you what the prisoners are likely to do with the "odd carrot or cabbage" that they find? You therefore don't need to be told that those items will give them "supplemental nutrition".

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The hungry prisoners

    Yes, of course.

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