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Non-defining relative clauses in English Grammar

Grammar Focus

These give more information about the subject but not about what the subject is These relative clauses are not subject defining

I like to think of the commas surrounding a non-defining relative clause. Imagine that the whole clause can be removed. The commas show us where the clause starts and ends. Try removing the non-defining relative clause. Does the sentence still make sense?
Practice removing non-defining clauses. Read this article. Find all the non-defining relative clauses, then read the text without those clauses. Did it still make sense?


  1. A new edition of the book, which has taken ten years to write, will be published this week. (Non-defining = Use which)
  2. Animals that/which eat meat don't eat so often. (Defining clause - Using that/which)

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