username1396673
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Hey there. I need some help as I will be writing up law essays. My grammar is good, but I can't get my head around relative restrictive and non restrictive clauses; I really don't want this to effect my essay writing, as I was never taught this in school or college. I was just doing some research and recognised the existence of relative clauses, and that they can be restrictive and non restrictive. Before I used to use a comma before which in every instance, and now after what I have just read I feel uneasy and don't know whether to place a comma or not. However, I never use a comma before "that" in any instance.

Also, I never use a comma before "when" and "where", as to me these are subordinating conjunction and a comma should never be before it, if it follows an independent clause.

Is there any department in university where I could go that will help me?

Please help me with my question. Just need help. I need to know if I'm correct with the way I use commas before "which" in every instance, and not before "when" and "where".

I'm just getting anxious!!!
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cliffg
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
Hey there. I need some help as I will be writing up law essays. My grammar is good, but I can't get my head around relative restrictive and non restrictive clauses; I really don't want this to effect my essay writing, as I was never taught this in school or college. I was just doing some research and recognised the existence of relative clauses, and that they can be restrictive and non restrictive. Before I used to use a comma before which in every instance, and now after what I have just read I feel uneasy and don't know whether to place a comma or not. However, I never use a comma before "that" in any instance.

Also, I never use a comma before "when" and "where", as to me these are subordinating conjunction and a comma should never be before it, if it follows an independent clause.

Is there any department in university where I could go that will help me?

Please help me with my question. Just need help. I need to know if I'm correct with the way I use commas before "which" in every instance, and not before "when" and "where".

I'm just getting anxious!!!
Try this :

http://www.theguardian.com/media/min...anguage-commas

Second half of the article is most relevant to your question. Follow up and get the book if his explanations work for you.
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username1396673
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(Original post by cliffg)
Try this :

http://www.theguardian.com/media/min...anguage-commas

Second half of the article is most relevant to your question. Follow up and get the book if his explanations work for you.
No, it did not help at all. Do you know anything about restrictive and non restrictive relative clauses?

The rules, which are vital in every aspect, will ensure that tasks are carried out accurately.

I know this is non restrictive relative clause. Am I implying that there are only one set of rules that will hep you process a task accurately?

And this:

The rules that are vital in every aspect will ensure that tasks are carried out accurately.

From my knowledge this is a restrictive relative clause, and there is no need to add commas as the information being provided is essential. So here in this restrictive relative clause I am implying that from many other existing rules these particular rules are vital, and are the only rules that will help finish tasks accurately?
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Maura Kat
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
No, it did not help at all. Do you know anything about restrictive and non restrictive relative clauses?
i'm truly really sorry that not many people have come forward to offer you assistance. you see, they're busy at the oxbridge thread discussing about wages, training contracts, magic circles, branded suits and the works. i hope someone else can come forth to help you. till then hang in there ok?
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username1396673
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(Original post by Maura Kat)
i'm truly really sorry that not many people have come forward to offer you assistance. you see, they're busy at the oxbridge thread discussing about wages, training contracts, magic circles, branded suits and the works. i hope someone else can come forth to help you. till then hang in there ok?
Okay, thanks I appreciate the support. I mean I never knew using a comma would be this much fuss. If there is a slight change to my sentence meaning while using a comma or omitting it from my text, then I need some guidance that will help me....
Anyways thank you for the message!
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aaron2014
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Is it handwritten or typed, British or American English, if handwritten I suggest a good gcse grammar book, if typed use spell checker, language default English UK
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username1396673
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(Original post by aaron2014)
Is it handwritten or typed, British or American English, if handwritten I suggest a good gcse grammar book, if typed use spell checker, language default English UK
I know how to use a comma. My main problem is with restrictive and non restrictive clauses!
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aaron2014
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Law is not Maths, grammar is key, there is no escape
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(Original post by aaron2014)
Law is not Maths, grammar is key, there is no escape
Yes, I am aware of that. Thanks for the help.
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Sorry, I am not trying to insult your intelligence, I am from engineering background when I was doing a graduate diploma in purchasing and supply I had a consumer law module I was forced to improve my grammar command.
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(Original post by aaron2014)
Sorry, I am not trying to insult your intelligence, I am from engineering background when I was doing a graduate diploma in purchasing and supply I had a consumer law module I was forced to improve my grammar command.
I know you were only trying to be helpful. No offence taken
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cliffg
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
No, it did not help at all. Do you know anything about restrictive and non restrictive relative clauses?

The rules, which are vital in every aspect, will ensure that tasks are carried out accurately.

I know this is non restrictive relative clause. Am I implying that there are only one set of rules that will hep you process a task accurately?

And this:

The rules that are vital in every aspect will ensure that tasks are carried out accurately.

From my knowledge this is a restrictive relative clause, and there is no need to add commas as the information being provided is essential. So here in this restrictive relative clause I am implying that from many other existing rules these particular rules are vital, and are the only rules that will help finish tasks accurately?
Yes - in your first example all rules are vital. The second example suggests that there are rules but only some of them are vital. Non -restrictive relative clause - commas. Restrictive - no commas. that's my understanding anyway. Re-read the example of the Dublin bishops in the article - it should make sense - I think (? ?) but I can see how that particular example might be confusing.
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Thank you!
(Original post by cliffg)
Yes - in your first example all rules are vital. The second example suggests that there are rules but only some of them are vital. Non -restrictive relative clause - commas. Restrictive - no commas. that's my understanding anyway. Re-read the example of the Dublin bishops in the article - it should make sense - I think (? ?) but I can see how that particular example might be confusing.
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cliffg
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
Thank you!
Actually, I might want to correct myself here. Should your second example have a comma after "aspect" to seperate the restrictive relative clause from the remainder of the sentence? I should re-read some of this grammar stuff again maybe - but it's Sunday and I'm going to the pub ! ! But I think you've basically got it.
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(Original post by cliffg)
Actually, I might want to correct myself here. Should your second example have a comma after "aspect" to seperate the restrictive relative clause from the remainder of the sentence? I should re-read some of this grammar stuff again maybe - but it's Sunday and I'm going to the pub ! ! But I think you've basically got it.
Okay thanks for your help! I think it will probably be fine to omit the comma after "aspect" in my second example! Enjoy your day!
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:confused:
(Original post by cliffg)
Actually, I might want to correct myself here. Should your second example have a comma after "aspect" to seperate the restrictive relative clause from the remainder of the sentence? I should re-read some of this grammar stuff again maybe - but it's Sunday and I'm going to the pub ! ! But I think you've basically got it.
How about these:

The defendant who was accused of the crime had been prisoned.

This one without the commas would mean that I'm referring to one specific defendant from the other existing defendants, right?

The defendant, who was accused of the crime, has been prisoned.

This sentence with the commas would initially mean that there is only the one defendant who I'm referring too, and therefore the relative clause is not essential in the meaning?

Sorry to be asking again. I just need to know if I'm correct!

Thank you cliffg
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Can someone please help?
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(Original post by Highfiveyou)
:confused:

How about these:

The defendant who was accused of the crime had been prisoned.

This one without the commas would mean that I'm referring to one specific defendant from the other existing defendants, right?

The defendant, who was accused of the crime, has been prisoned.

This sentence with the commas would initially mean that there is only the one defendant who I'm referring too, and therefore the relative clause is not essential in the meaning?

Sorry to be asking again. I just need to know if I'm correct!

Thank you cliffg
Essentailly, I think "yes". But please bear in mind that I am a long way from being a teacher or authority on the finer points of English grammar. Take what I say with a pinch of salt and check with more authoritative sources.

In the first sentence you are distinguishing one defendant, accused of this particular crime, from other defendants. In the second sentence you are adding what might be called an informative clause. The sentence can stand alone without the clause and still retain its original meaning: "The defendant has been imprisoned". What is contained within the commas is merely additional information. If you remove that information from the first sentence, where you suggest there are multiple defendants, you have altered the meaning.

Hope that makes sense. I rarely think about these things - mostly I go by intuition and a fading memory of English language classes many,many years ago.
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(Original post by cliffg)
Essentailly, I think "yes". But please bear in mind that I am a long way from being a teacher or authority on the finer points of English grammar. Take what I say with a pinch of salt and check with more authoritative sources.

In the first sentence you are distinguishing one defendant, accused of this particular crime, from other defendants. In the second sentence you are adding what might be called an informative clause. The sentence can stand alone without the clause and still retain its original meaning: "The defendant has been imprisoned". What is contained within the commas is merely additional information. If you remove that information from the first sentence, where you suggest there are multiple defendants, you have altered the meaning.

Hope that makes sense. I rarely think about these things - mostly I go by intuition and a fading memory of English language classes many,many years ago.
Cliffg you're a life saver! Yes, I'm not a grammar genius myself. I'm just disappointed how I never ever came across these terms in school or college. I respect you for you help. You're a true lad!
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