"I've a labrador that has one eye."

Hi guys, is "that has one eye" a non-defining or defining relative clause here? Suppose I only have one labrador, is "that has one eye" nonessential additional information here, therefore rendering it a non-defining relative clause? Or is it defining my labrador? I'm a little bit lost.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


  • Seems very similar to this question on ELL ell.stackexchange.com/questions/122559/… – Stuart F Sep 11 at 12:08
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    When a relative clause merely gives some additional information about the noun, it is called a non-defining or non-restrictive relative clause. Such clauses are separated by pauses in speech or commas in writing. Hence in My labrador, that has only one eye, bit the woman, who lives next door, the highlighted elements are non-restrictive (they provide more details about the specific dog/woman already contextually relevant, rather than identifying which dog/woman we're talking about. – FumbleFingers Sep 11 at 12:14
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    ...and My labrador that has only one eye bit the woman who lives next door (without commas) features two restrictive relative clauses, identifying which dog/woman I'm talking about (by implication, I have other labradors that don't have one eye, and there are other women around who don't live next door). – FumbleFingers Sep 11 at 12:18
  • 'Essential' is only scoped as far as 'essential in well-defining the modified referent'. In "The boy who was carrying a heavy rucksack was struggling to keep up," who was carrying a heavy rucksack singles out the particular boy for the hearer. It is obviously required that there is at least one rucksack among the group referenced, and only one carried by a boy. // In "The boy, who was carrying a heavy rucksack, was struggling to keep up," the relative clause is non-identifying but giving additional (and very important) information – Edwin Ashworth Sep 11 at 12:43
  • Okay guys. So from what you've explained it seems safe to say that "...that has one eye" in "I've a labrador that has one eye" would be a non-defining relative clause right? And if it is non-defining, would it be necessary to have a comma in there like so --> "I've a labrador, that has one eye" Thank you all again, I really appreciate it. John – John Gaffney Sep 11 at 15:48

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