1. ## Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Hello!

I have two questions concerning defining/non-defining relative clauses.
Please look at the example sentences below :

a. Mr.Brown has a daughter who became a doctor.
b. Mr.Brown has a daughter, who became a doctor.

Q1. What's the difference in meaning?
Q2. When you hear these sentences separately, do you recognize the difference in meaning? If so, how? Do you put a pause between the clauses? (It's quite hard for me to decide which(defining/non-defining) when they are spoken.)

2. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Sam: Our son is a doctor, and he is single.
Pat: Mr. Brown has a daughter who is single. Maybe they should meet?

Sue: Do you know if Mr. Brown has children?
Bill: Mr. Brown has a daughter, who [by the way] is a doctor.

______________________

A suitcase that has no handles is useless.
A suitcase, that has no handles, is useless.

3. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by Soup
A suitcase, that has no handles, is useless.
Thank you, soup.

What's a suitcase for?
We have to reconsider the raison d'etre of a suitcase.

So, you use "non-defining clause" to give some additional information. Yes?
Do you pause between the clauses?

4. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by tzfujimino
Thank you, soup.

What's a suitcase for?
We have to reconsider the raison d'etre of a suitcase.

So, you use "non-defining clause" to give some additional information. Yes?
Do you pause between the clauses?
Yes and no. The intonation before the comma is similar to the intonation placed at the end of a clause.

5. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by Soup
Yes and no. The intonation before the comma is similar to the intonation placed at the end of a clause.
Yes and no? Are you giving the answers to..."....to give additional information...Yes?"

Well, I have to go, I'm afraid.
I'd like to ask you a few more quetions to you next time.

6. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by tzfujimino
Yes and no? Are you giving the answers to..."....to give additional information...Yes?"
Some speakers might pause, some might not.

7. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by tzfujimino
Hello!

I have two questions concerning defining/non-defining relative clauses.
Please look at the example sentences below :

a. Mr Brown has a daughter who became a doctor.
b. Mr Brown has a daughter, who became a doctor.

Q1. What's the difference in meaning?

In these two isolated examples, there isn't necessarily any difference in meaning, Tz, though there could be. b could illustrate a non-defining relative or a defining relative.

Some will suggest that b. holds the meaning that Mr Brown only has one daughter. As I mentioned, with a sentence in isolation, that's not a completely reasonable assumption to make.

Q2. When you hear these sentences separately, do you recognize the difference in meaning? If so, how?

When one creates a more expanded scenario, ie. when the context is richer, a difference may appear and be quite easy to recognize. A pause could come because the speaker momentarily lost their train of thought, the speaker was distracted, any number of reasons.

One of the major reasons that there is so much confusion is that prescriptivists put forward a context of their own, one designed to support their idea and then they mistakenly contend that every situation has to follow this "rule". [They also did this for centuries with "If S+ was/were]

The mistake comes in thinking that all situations in life are the same.

Do you put a pause between the clauses? (It's quite hard for me to decide which(defining/non-defining) when they are spoken.)

In speech, there are changes in intonation which mark these different forms.

This pen, [everyone can see it] which is blue, belongs to Mika.

For yourself, just as for a native speaker, you don't have to identify spoken relatives as either form and after students get thru the rigors of examination hell they don't either. You, and they, only have to use the info to further your understanding of the situation which allows you to communicate effectively, to be part of the ongoing discussion.

I know that you have to teach this there in your juku. What Mombusho is demanding of Japanese students is unrealistic because it's clear that native speakers, even some who teach, don't know either.

#

8. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Thank you, riverkid(kappa)!
I'm really grateful for your support and guidance.

9. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by Soup
Some speakers might pause, some might not.
I see!
Now I understand it!
What matters is the context!

10. ## Re: Relative clause(non-defining/defining)

Originally Posted by tzfujimino
I see!
Now I understand it!
What matters is the context!

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