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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    his car with the white top

    1) He sold his car with the white top.
    2) He sold his car that had a white top.
    3) He sold his car which had a white top.

    4) He sold his car, which had a white top.


    Do 1-3 necessarily imply that he had more than one car?

    I think '2' and '3' have that implication. I don't think '1' necessarily implies that.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: his car with the white top

    Since you've made them up as part of an academic exercise, all of those sentences are artificial. What's more, they lack enough meaningful context to say what is implied. Perhaps a more natural rendering of the sentence would be

    He sold the car with the white top.

    which does not (without more context), but which could (with more context) imply that he had more than one car.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: his car with the white top

    If he has/had only one car, I'd use "He sold his car. It had a white roof/top".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: his car with the white top

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1) He sold his car with the white top.
    2) He sold his car that had a white top.
    3) He sold his car which had a white top.

    4) He sold his car, which had a white top.


    Do 1-3 necessarily imply that he had more than one car?

    I think '2' and '3' have that implication. I don't think '1' necessarily implies that.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    Yes. The first three tell us which car he sold. The fourth describes his one car.

    The third is correct British English but incorrect American English. Here we use "which" to describe, not identify. So in American English, we would use the second choice if he had more than one car and the forth if he had just one.

    The other comments above about more common ways to phrase it are also good.
    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.

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: his car with the white top

    I think one of the problems with the examples is the use of the word his, which doesn't work well as part of a defining relative clause sentence. This is why both emsr2d2 and myself felt like we wanted to change sentence 2) in some way.

    "his car" suggests his (only) car, in which case there's no reason to define which car.

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