Always big meaning difference between defining relative clauses and non defining relative clauses?
Do you experts think there is always big meaning difference between defining relative clauses and non defining relative clauses?
Yesterday, I met a girl who lives in NY.
Yesterday, I met a girl, who lives in NY.
I know there can be difference in meaning, but sometimes I cannot see any difference between them.
What do you experts think? Thank you as usual.
Cf. This is the answer I got from one of the experts here and I agreed with her ,but I am not sure now.
Q : The meeting which is scheduled tomorrow is cancelled. The meeting, which is scheduled tomorrow, is cancelled.
A : I see no difference between the two, but to be completely clear you could always write"Tomorrow's meeting is cancelled".
Yes, there is always a difference in meaning, or rather the emphasis placed on the meaning.
On one level, the basic information contained in both restrictive (defining) and non-restrictive (non-defining) clauses is the same. But the punctuation tells us how important the information is to the meaning. Information in a non-restrictive clause can be left out and the reader will still understand the basic meaning. Think of a non-restrictive clause as providing extra information, possibly even important information, but not critical information. Often, only the context will tell you whether the clause should be restrictive or non-restrictive.
Let's take your example: The meeting that is scheduled tomorrow is cancelled. The meeting, which is scheduled tomorrow, is cancelled. Taken in isolation, either sentence could be correct. Now let's provide some context.
My calendar shows that I have a meeting every day next week. But the meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, is now cancelled. This sentence is not grammatically correct. You cannot remove the non-restrictive clause without destroying the meaning --> My calendar shows that I have a meeting every day next week. But the meeting is now cancelled.
In this context, the only correct choice is: My calendar shows that I have a meeting every day next week. But the meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday is now cancelled.
I hope this helps.
|link||edited Sep 20 '12 at 15:47 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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