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    restrictive clause Vs non-restrictive clause

    Hello teacher !!!

    I am confused here between two different type of clause, restrictive clause and non-restrictive clause. Is essential and non-essential another name of them.

    1. I went to London with John Baker, who lives next door.

    2. Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
    (Source: grammar - monster)

    Why there is a commas in the second clause, I thought we put a commas only when the noun we mention is a specific thing.


  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: restrictive clause Vs non-restrictive clause

    The comma tells us that the added clauses simply add detail without changing the meaning. If you removed the commas, the added phrases would change the meanings of the sentences.


    A. The pie, in the window, was stolen.

    B. The pie in the window was stolen.

    In A, there was only one pie. It would be true without "in the window": The pie was stolen.

    In B, we don't know how many pies there are. One? Ten? The phrase "in the window" might be telling us which pie was stolen. There might be five pies on the table and two in the oven. If we shortened it to "The pie was stolen" here, it could be confusing. To be clear, it would need to say "A pie was stolen."


    In your two examples, the statements would still be true without the added information.

    - I went to London with John Baker.
    - Every journalist has a novel in him or her.

    Without the added clauses, both are still true. The added clauses give more information but do not change the meanings of the rest of the sentences. The commas tell us that. Sometimes it doesn't matter. Sometimes it does.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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