Commas and Restrictive/Nonrestrictive Clauses R ESTRICTIVE VS . N ONRESTRICTIVE 1. My husband, Jeremy, and I went to the party. (Nonrestrictive. I only have one husband, so if I eliminate “Jeremy” from the sentence, the meaning stays the same.) 2. My brother, Dean, and his friend Joe went to the party. (Nonrestrictive/Restrictive. I have one brother named Dean. If I had more than one brother, I would have to say “my brother Dean” just like “his friend Joe.” Of course, if Dean only has one friend, it would be “his friend, Joe.”) 3. My sister Katie and my brother, Dean, went to the party. (restrictive/nonrestrictive. This sentence would indicate that I have more than one sister and only one brother). Whether you use “that” or “which” in a sentence is also determined by whether the clause is restrictive (that) or nonrestrictive (which). A restrictive clause is not set off by commas; a nonrestrictive clause is. 1.
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2011 for the course ENGLISH 125 taught by Professor Decourcy during the Summer '09 term at University of Michigan.