brother who is in army vs. brother, who is in army,

English grammar and usage issues

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brother who is in army vs. brother, who is in army,

Unread postby FunkyKingston » 04 Jul 2010, 18:50

Hey everyone !

So this may seem like a silly question but I doing my pre course task before I begin my CELT course next week .
I have it all completed except for one question in the 'Explain the diffrence in meaning of these sentences ' section . I have to describe the difference between :

(A) My brother who is in the army has just moved to Dublin .

(B) My brother , who is in the army , has just moved to Dublin .

I feel like a bit of an idiot but can someone help me with this please :)

Thank you !
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Re: brother who is in army vs. brother, who is in army,

Unread postby Jo » 06 Jul 2010, 06:40

The difference between the two is the two commas. In B the information between commas is "extra information", not essential to the meaning of the sentence. In A the same information IS essential to the meaning of the sentence.

My wife who is from India has just given birth.
(Apparently I have more than one wife.)

My wife, who is from India, has just given birth.
(Sounds pretty average.)
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Re: brother who is in army vs. brother, who is in army,

Unread postby Juanes » 24 Dec 2010, 05:17

Yeah, it's the commas. The one with the commas is a non restrictive clause. The information can be regarded as parenthetical. The other, without commas, is a restrictive clause. Say you had more than one brother? In that case you'd have to leave out the commas because the brother your referring to in the clause -- the one in the army-- has necessary info. and is not parenthetical.

Hope that helps.
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