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Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses | English Grammar Book

Restrictive Clauses

A Restrictive clause functions like an adjective. It is used to further identify the noun it is modifying. It provides additional information for the noun it is describing. Without a restrictive clause, the sentence will appear to be missing important information. Commas are not necessary when using a restrictive clause.
  • The boy who broke the vase was very apologetic.
  • The dog that ate my garden vegetables lives next door.
  • The bike that I won at the raffle got a flat tire.
  • I am going to the movies with the boy who is in my math class.
  • The essay which you worked on yesterday was accidentally deleted.

Nonrestrictive Clauses

A nonrestrictive clause functions like an adjective. It is used to further identify the noun it is modifying. It provides additional information for the noun it is describing. However, it is not necessary for the sentence to be clear. A nonrestrictive clause is separated by a comma or placed in between two commas.
  • Sean, who is my best friend, lives in that house.
  • Pablo Picasso, who is a famous painter, is my favorite artist.
  • My daughter, who is in 4th grade, loves drawing.
  • I finished reading Harry Potter, which is my favorite book series.
  • We take the bus to school, which is located just a few blocks away.


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Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses | English Grammar Book

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