Is the following sentence a define or not defining relative clause. Since, when we remove the part enclosed in commas, the remaining part doesn't make sense, I think it is a defining relative clause but my teacher says that whenever there is anything enclosed in commas in a sentence it becomes a Non Defining Relative clause. Sentence:"The children,who shouted in the street, were not from our school"

  • The version with commas presupposes that we already know which children are meant (independently of any shouting); it says that those children were not from our school, and it adds parenthetically that they shouted in the street. The version without commas specifies which children are meant by saying they're the ones who shouted in the street. – Andreas Blass Sep 5 '18 at 2:12
  • Removing the nonessential information still has the sentence make sense: The children were not from our school. So, your supposition is wrong. – Jason Bassford Sep 5 '18 at 2:47

With commas it makes a different sense. The commas show that the writer wants you to lower your voice when you say ",who shouted in the street," because the writer wants that to be additional information. The writer could have written "The children were not from our school. They shouted in the street," but that would not be so neat.

If you are the writer, and if you want that meaning, you can put in the commas, and the reader will lower their voice and make it a Non Defining Relative Clause.

But, if you are the writer, and you want a different inflexion, (Oxford Dictionaries inflexion .2.) and you want a Defining Relative, then you must leave out the commas.

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