A restrictive clause is a word that defines or limits the meaning of a noun. It is usually introduced by a relative pronoun. This noun can be a person, a thing, or a place. Restrictive clauses are often called essential or defining clauses. However, they can also be nonrestrictive or nonessential clauses.
Restrictive clauses are very important to the structure of a sentence. They modify a noun in a way that makes it more clear. If the noun was defined before the restrictive clause, the meaning would be unclear. That’s why it’s so important to know when to use these words. There are some resources that explain how to use these words, and you can check them out at Grammarly. You can also check out Jack Lynch’s Guide to Grammar and Style to learn how to avoid common mistakes.
If you’re using a restrictive clause in your sentence, you need to be very careful about how it’s placed. For example, if the word who is being used is a person, you should use “who” instead of “that.” Another common mistake is to use “that” in a restrictive clause. Even though this can help you reduce your word count, it can also make the text less clear. To prevent this, always use “who” at the beginning of the restrictive clause.
The next rule you need to know about is how to write the word which. Using this word is very common. Most people don’t even realize that they are using this word, but you should. Whenever you use this word, you’ll need to put a comma before it. This helps you distinguish it from the rest of the sentence. Commas can be confusing because they’re used for both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.
Nonrestrictive clauses are a type of relative clause that are not necessary to understand the noun in the sentence. Instead, they give additional information. These words are usually offset with commas and parentheses. Using a comma to set off the nonrestrictive clause is helpful to keep the sentence from becoming a confusing mess. Also, you may want to omit the comma around the nonrestrictive clause.
In contrast, restrictive clauses do not require commas. They are embedded in the sentence, and they provide crucial identifying information. They are called restrictive because they have to remain in the sentence to retain their meaning. But, they must blend with the sentence seamlessly. While a restrictive clause cannot be removed from a sentence without altering the meaning, a nonrestrictive clause can be omitted if the writer wants to change the meaning.
When it comes to introducing a nonrestrictive clause, you can use either “that” or “which.” It’s up to you which one you prefer. Many grammarians suggest that you use “which” with nonrestrictive clauses, because they are more explicit. However, it’s important to remember that this does not mean that they’re interchangeable.
If you want to learn more about using commas and other grammar rules, you can visit Grammarly’s blog. Or, you can download their free browser extension, which will help you check your writing for spelling and other common mistakes.