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Grammarly defines defining clauses as clauses that give essential information about the noun they modify. They do this by beginning a noun clause and connecting it to an adjective clause. They are sometimes called “adjectival” or “relative” clauses.
Defining clauses are often the first sentence of a longer piece of writing, especially when there is a lot of information to convey about the noun they are modifying. They are usually followed by a relative pronoun to show who or what they refer to.
There are two kinds of defining clauses: restrictive and non-restrictive. The type of clause determines what kind of relative pronoun you use.
Relative pronouns are a type of pronoun that functions as an object, subject, or possessive pronoun. Relative pronouns are also used in other parts of a sentence to provide extra information about the nouns they modify, so be sure to pay close attention to their uses and how they work within a sentence.
They are important because they let you know which nouns and verbs are being modified in a sentence, and which ones are not. This is a vital skill in writing well, as it can help you avoid common grammar mistakes and improve the flow of your sentences.
Defining relative clauses can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive, depending on what information you want to present about the nouns you are modifying. A restrictive relative clause gives you essential information about the noun it modifies. It is usually used with a noun that you want to define, or the nouns you are referring to in a sentence, like “the movie which the girl recommended to Tom was amazing.”
Nonrestrictive relative clauses are not as vital and do not give you essential information about the noun they are modifying. These types of relative clauses are usually found in longer pieces of writing, such as novels or plays.
A common mistake people make with defining clauses is putting commas around them. You should not put a comma around a defining clause unless it is a restrictive one. However, if you are presenting extra information in a nonrestrictive clause, you should still set it off with commas.
You should also be careful not to put a comma around defining relative pronouns that are referring to other people. This is because it can confuse the reader as to whom you are talking about and how you are referring to them.
This can be particularly tricky when you are quoting someone else’s words, or when you are citing a book or play. It can be even harder to do when you are talking about the nuances of a language, so it is important to practice identifying which defining clauses are essential and which are not.
If you have any questions or concerns about defining clauses, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team will be more than happy to assist you.