Student or Learner
Could you please clarify the difference between the two sentences below?
1. The boy,who was bitten by the dog was Tom.
2.The boy who was bitten by the dog was Tom.
What does the comma imply in the adjective clause to native speakers?
Thanks for your clarificaion.
1b. The boy, who was bitten by the dog, was Tom.
This is because the passage between the commas is parenthetical - it's in parenthesis. You can remove the parenthetical phrase and still have a meaningful sentence. The boy was Tom. The parenthetical phrase adds information about the subject, "The boy".
In sentence 2. you are answering "Who was the boy who was bitten by the dog?"
In 1b. you are answering "Who was the boy?", and you are also adding some additional unnecessary information about him
In any case, 1b. sounds wrong even with two commas, because the meaning is that of sentence 2.
Look up defining and non-defining relative clauses.
The clause in 1b is non-defining. The clause in 2 is defining.