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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 23
    #1

    Question which is better?

    Dear teachers,

    I'd like to know the difference between these two sentences with relative clauses. They are:
    1) The car which did not stop knocked the child down;
    2) The car which knocked the child down did not stop.
    Which one is more accurate? What factors do we know to think of when we can choose either sentence to be the relative clause?

    Thank you very much!

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      • Ireland
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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 182
    #2

    Re: which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ONI View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I'd like to know the difference between these two sentences with relative clauses. They are:
    1) The car which did not stop knocked the child down;
    2) The car which knocked the child down did not stop.
    Which one is more accurate? What factors do we know to think of when we can choose either sentence to be the relative clause?

    Thank you very much!
    I am having difficulty correctly interpreting that question.

    Both sentences are correct, but they both lack commas! That is the factor that I think you are alluding to.

    Also, I don't like the sentences. Why do you tell "me" that the car did not stop? The child is still knocked down, right?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 23
    #3

    Wink Re: which is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batfink View Post
    I am having difficulty correctly interpreting that question.

    Both sentences are correct, but they both lack commas! That is the factor that I think you are alluding to.

    Also, I don't like the sentences. Why do you tell "me" that the car did not stop? The child is still knocked down, right?
    The sentences have no commas because they are both defining clauses, arent' they? Actually my problem lies on which sentence to use as the relative clause when I have to do the combination. For instance, there are two sentences given: The man found the child and took him home. He was a policeman. Which sentence you will choose when you need to combine them? Will it be either The man who was a policeman found the child and took him home or The man who found the child and took him home was a policeman?

    Thanks anyway!


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: which is better?

    1) The car which did not stop knocked the child down;
    2) The car which knocked the child down did not stop.


    Which you use will depend on the emphasis - what is the most important element that the speaker is referring to. So:
    Newsreporter: "Police engaged in a high speed chase today when two racing cars entered in the Monte Carlo Grande Prix were stolen. One car pulled over and surrendered to police. The car which did not stop knocked a child down as it rounded a corner. Police are now questioning...."
    Compare:
    "A child was rushed to hospital today after being hit crossing a road in Manchester. The car which knocked the child down did not stop, and police are treating the incident as a hit-and run. Anyone able to assist police in their enquiries should..."

    (I should mention that I have used the sentences you provided, but that a native speaker would not express the 'news reports' I've written quite like that - they sound 'stilted'.)

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