0

Can you tell me the difference in the meaning of the two sentences below?

As a defining relative clause.

The location which was called Central Park was a park in New York.

As a non-defining relative clause.

The location, which was called Central Park, was a park in New York.

  • 3
    Perhaps it would help to imagine a suitable sentence preceding each of the two examples you've provided: (1) "The NSA guy stopped at a series of locations which had vaguely familiar names. The location which was called Central Park was a park in New York." (2) "The NSA guy dropped off the vice president in a secure, previously undisclosed location. The location, which was called Central Park, was a park in New York." Do you see how the two opening sentences lead to the two differently punctuated forms of the example sentence that you ask about? – Sven Yargs Feb 9 '16 at 6:06
  • Can you really call alocation a park? This seems imprecise; instead, Central Park was a park located in New York; or This was the location of a New York park known as Central Park.; or, less awkwardly, This was the location in New York of Central Park. (it being understood that a place with Park in the name is probably a park). – David Handelman Nov 6 '16 at 23:09
1

The non-restricting version gives extra information about the location (it was called Central Park). The restricting version helps you find your memory of the location (the location that was called Central Park). The preferred methods are to use 'that' to restrict, and to use ', which' to give extra (adverbial) info.

1

The reference of C (the places it could refer to) is a subset of the references of A or B. But the references of A and B are equal. In this sense, the relative clause of C is "restrictive", since it restricts the reference of A.

  • A. the location (with no relative clause)
  • B. the location, which was called Central Park,
  • C. the location which was called Central Park

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.