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Restrictive and Non-Restrictive Clause

Sep 6, 2022

Relative Clause: If a sentence has two phrases connected with words like “who”, “whose”, “which”, “that”, etc., then the phrase beginning with any of these words is said to be a relative clause. 

There are two types of relative clauses: 

  1. Restrictive Clause: A restrictive clause is a clause that is necessary to make meaning of the sentence. This clause restricts the noun to specify a particular noun. Without the restrictive clause, the sentence will be incomplete and won’t have any meaning. 
  1. Non-restrictive Clause: A non-restrictive clause is not necessary to make meaning in the sentence. It is simply used to provide extra information about the noun. With non-restrictive clauses, we use commas before and after the clause. 

Reduced Restrictive Clause: Sometimes, we omit the connectors in a sentence with a restrictive clause without the sentence losing its meaning. Sometimes, you may need to make minor changes to ensure grammatical accuracy. 

Rules for the use of connectors: 

  1. That: It is only used with restrictive clauses. It is never used with a non-restrictive clause. It is used to refer to things, not people. 
  1. Which: It can be used with both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses but is usually preferred in non-restrictive clauses. It is used to refer to things, not people. 
  1. Who, whom, whose: These can be used in both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses. 


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