Could you please kindly provide some explanation as to why the second option (B) is the only correct answer to the following question? And why is it not the case that both A and B could be correct depending on whether a non-restrictive appositive (B) or a non-defining relative clause (A) is used?

Recently, severe management problems have afflicted Coca-Cola, ____.

A. which is a large multinational corporation

B. a large multinational corporation

C. there is a large multinational corporation

D. a large multinational corporation is it

Your insights, recommendations, and corrections are much appreciated.

  • 3
    The second option (B) is not the only correct answer; (A) is also correct. Aug 9, 2013 at 14:38
  • 2
    (B) is the same as (A); it is the result of the application of the optional rule of Whiz-Deletion. Both (A) and (B) are equally grammatical. As for why (B) is the only correct answer to the question, the reason appears to be that the person who composed the test does not understand English well, and does not understand English grammar at all. Aug 9, 2013 at 14:51
  • @JohnLawler: And on top of that, appears to be poor at composing test questions as well.
    – Robusto
    Jun 9, 2015 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


I assume your teacher feels that A is incorrect due to the comma in the sentence, e.g. he is thinks that

... Coca-Cola which is a large...

is correct and therefore

... Coca-Cola, which is a large...


See more here Is it appropriate to put a comma before "which"?

  • that was my first impression. One teacher offered the following, "The thing is that, option A can be either preceded by a comma OR NOT, but option B can only have a comma if it should be true.. in such tests as the above given, we have to pick out the one which can apply only under one condition, not more." I would appreciate your take on this.
    – Mehdi
    Aug 9, 2013 at 16:27
  • 2
    @Mehdi, I’d say your teacher is just plain wrong here. “Coca-Cola which is a large multinational corporation” would be considered almost universally to be mispunctuated (or mis-unpunctuated, as it were). A comma is required in that case, too. I cannot think of any way of introducing an integrated relative clause after “Coca-Cola” in your example, which would be the only way of having a clause not preceded by a comma. Feb 1, 2014 at 12:24
  • @ Janus Bahs Jacquet, I tried to convey the same line of reasoning on a couple of occasions that I had the chance to raise the issue with him. But every time that I did I was greeted with the same refrain; that I was "just being difficult."
    – Mehdi
    Feb 2, 2014 at 19:03

option B is the only correct answer because it offers some addition information about Coca-cola. secondly, a large multinational corporation is a noun phrase which provides a descriptive understanding of the noun Coca-cola. Any noun that provides a descriptive understanding of a related noun such a noun is said to be in apposition to the modified noun.

  • 4
    Option A also “offers some addition [sic] information about Coca-cola [sic]”. There is no reason whatsoever that only B should be correct. Feb 1, 2014 at 12:19

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