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Ex. There are many interesting stories attached to the drink, which exclusively belong to the brand only.

Is above sentence correct? Or it should be

Ex. There are many interesting stories attached to the drink, which exclusively belongs to the brand only.

I use a comma before relative pronoun because I want to denote ‘Interesting stories’ with the relative pronoun ‘which’. So the verb will be plural – ‘belong’.

If I omit the comma and write the sentence as:

Ex. There are many interesting stories attached to the drink which exclusively belongs to the brand only.

Here ‘which’ denotes drink and so the verb will be ‘belongs’

Am I right here?

  • Facts don't "belong" to anyone. – FumbleFingers May 17 '18 at 11:42
  • If I replace 'facts' with stories, then what will be the grammar of the sentence? – Simul Chowdhury May 17 '18 at 11:51
  • The "grammar" was always fine. But as @droonfang says in his answer, it's an odd sentence. Both syntactically and semantically (I must admit I can't actually tell exactly what it means). Whatever - the question as presented looks like Off Topic "writing advice" to me. Either that or it should be on English Language Learners anyway. – FumbleFingers May 17 '18 at 16:23
  • It's nonsense.. – Hot Licks Jul 17 '18 at 1:53
  • There are many interesting stories attached to the drink, stories which exclusively belong to the brand only. (Not quite as nonsensical.) – Hot Licks Jul 17 '18 at 2:09
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  • There are many stories attached to the drink, which belong to the brand only.

  • There are many stories attached to the drink which belongs to the brand only.

Both are correct, though they mean different things; the second one, for instance, implies there are drinks that don't belong to the brand only, as well as the drink that does. That's because the relative clause in the second example is restrictive, whereas it's non-restrictive (and uses a comma to notate that) in the first example.

The problem is that when there are several modifiers after a noun, they have to come in some order or other, and if one of them contains a noun itself, then it might be thought to be the antecedent of a following relative clause. In effect, one doesn't know which noun the relative clause is attached to; this is called an Attachment Ambiguity in grammar, and it's very very common in written English.

In real (i.e, spoken) English, ambiguities like these aren't really a big problem, because intonation and rhythm will distinguish most cases; but since written English doesn't indicate intonation and rhythm (except sporadically with punctuation), it is a problem in writing.

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I say it's an odd sentence, but...

In my opinion, it's the "stories" that "belong"..."to the brand". You have to figure out to what a specific phrase or word refers to get the proper agreement. Many writers mess that up, but you just have to simplify like that. If you're questioning the form of the word belong, then look for what "belongs".

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