I have a sentence where I need to express a few ideas, and I'm not sure about the correct choice of the vocabulary and if the use of insert clause here sounds acceptable enough.Here is the sentence:

Global experience shows that availability of manuals, which have been in abundance in Europe, may have a “lulling” effect.

I'm not sure if the clause in bold, both with regard to the choice of vocabulary, and the sentence structure. I was thinking also about leaving out "which" and using only "abounding in Europe", or maybe "which have abounded in Europe", or "of which have been in plenty supply in Europe" or something to that effect. Also, is it possible to use "and" in this clause, so it sounds as an insert, for instance, ",and there has been a rich selection of them in Europe," I'd like to know which of these phrases would best fit this slot in the sentence, and also if the sentence as it is, sounds readable.

1 Answer 1


"Which have been in abundance in Europe" is an adjective clause, not an appositive.

It makes sense in your sentence, but is a little verbose. I always prefer to abound over to be in abundance, so I would suggest "which have abounded in Europe".

Your tense seems a little off as well. You use the past perfect, which is most suitable if the action has since ceased. Presumably, manuals still abound, so the present perfect progressive "which have been abounding in Europe" would be technically correct. Although, personally, I would use the less verbose simple present "which abound in Europe", which can imply habitual action, depending on the context.

Your broader question seems to be "should I use something other than an adjective clause here?" This is harder to answer because it is primarily opinion-based. I think "which abound in Europe" is a acceptable solution, though that does not preclude finding one that sounds better to you.

  • 1
    Thank you for the detailed and precise answer Benjamin! And yes, as far as the terminology is concerned I'm aware that appositive is not the term that is used in English linguistics for this kind of clauses, but there wasn't a tag for "supplementary" clause which is the term I use, based on the terminology adopted in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston & Pullum. They object to the term "adjective clause", and say that relating the word class of adjectives with clauses in not syntactically grounded. Thanks again for the answer.
    – user97589
    Jul 24, 2016 at 21:52
  • @RejlanGivens *Comma before Benjamin.
    – user231780
    Aug 7, 2017 at 21:59

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