Found this question in a book:

The Oldest repertory theater still existing ______ founded in 1680.
a) the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, it was
b) is the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, was
c) which is the Comedie-Francaise in Paris,
d) the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, was

The right answer seems to be B from simple punctuation perspective (if there is no comma - we definitely need "is"); however, the relative clause concerns me.

As I understand, we can reduce nonrestrictive relative clause only if it has some form of "to be", but "was" should be removed as well then, or can I leave it?

Another option could be that "was founded in 1680" is a restrictive clause, but it's the only one "the Comedie-Francaise" theater historically.

My last option is just a parallel clause:

The Oldest repertory theater still existing is the Comedie-Francaise in Paris. The Oldest repertory theater still existing was founded in 1680.

Any suggestions?

  • It's not clear what you're asking, but B can't be correct because that gives you The Oldest is TC-F, was founded. One too many verbs.
    – deadrat
    Mar 25, 2016 at 9:38
  • @deadrat the book suggests B: urch.com/forums/toefl-grammar/…. My problem is that is none of answers seems to be correct. If it's so, I need an explanation per every option, if it's not (e.g. B or C is correct) - I need an explanation why. "One too many verbs" is not clear for me.
    – dk14
    Mar 25, 2016 at 10:01
  • @deadrat I'd like to emphasize that I need grammatically correct answer for US business language (TOEIC-like or more formal)
    – dk14
    Mar 25, 2016 at 10:10
  • @deadrat I also asked if it's mandatory to remove "was" if you're reducing a nonrestrictive clause like "is the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, (was?) founded in 1680"
    – dk14
    Mar 25, 2016 at 10:21
  • As Sucesso suggests in an answer below, the question as posted above is supposed to include a comma after the word existing but erroneously leaves it out. Read with that comma in place, the only answer that makes sense is (d), which treats "the Comedie-Francaise in Paris" as an appositive.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 5, 2016 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


Found this thread by looking through my logs (links to my site).

This looks like a typo to me; it's missing a comma.

It should look like this:

The Oldest repertory theater still existing, the Comedie-Francaise in Paris, was founded in 1680.

Which book is this from?

  • 2
    Your point about the missing comma is correct, as can be seen by referring to question #11 on "TOEFL Structure Sample TEST." You are also correct in (implicitly) identifying option (d) as the answer that TOEFL deems the right one. But you need to make both of those points explicit in your answer, so that it reads as an answer and not merely as a conjecture. Feel free to use the link that I've included in this comment to support your conclusion about the missing comma. I will upvote if you include these alterations/additions.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 5, 2016 at 23:02

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