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Upset by the bad call, the crowd cheered Robbie, a hot-tempered tennis player who charged the umpire and tried to crack the poor man's skull with a racket.

By using the same concept, I could also write it as:

Upset by the bad call, the crowd cheered the man, a hot-tempered tennis player , who charged the umpire and tried to crack the poor man's skull with a racket.

My concept is that the phrase who charged becomes essential as among million men whom are we talking about. So the phrase who charged becomes , who charged. How far am I correct?

Also, my grammar checker says that I should have used who in lace of whom in the phrase million men who are. Why is that so?

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    Your grammar checker is wrong. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 10 '16 at 11:22
  • What about the concept on appositives and punctuation? – Anubhav Singh Aug 10 '16 at 11:53
  • The appositive is the noun phrase a hot-tempered tennis player who charged the umpire and tried to crack the poor man's skull with a racket. The relative who clause looks integrated (restrictive) within that NP, so no comma is required. Since the relativised element is subject of the relative clause, it should be subjective case "who". – BillJ Aug 10 '16 at 13:39
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Upset by the bad call, the crowd cheered the man, a hot-tempered tennis player, who charged the umpire and tried to crack the poor man's skull with a racket.

You're using the comma correctly to set an appositive here.

But it seems awkward to say "man" then qualify that with an appositive when you can just describe the man directly, unless this disjointed effect is being done on purpose for your story.

Also saying what someone is doing with a "who" phrase sounds like you are describing a characteristic rather what they are doing at a moment. It doesn't work too well in describing or narrating an event that doesn't happen regularly.

Not sure what is going on earlier in your story but IMHO the below sounds a lot better.

The crowd, upset by the bad call, cheered the hot-tempered tennis player as he charged the umpire, trying to crack the poor man's skull with a racket.


Also, my grammar checker says that I should have used who in lace of whom in the phrase million men who are. Why is that so?

Whom is an object pronoun, so if who is the subject or part of the subject of the sentence, as it is in X who are Y, it will never be whom. Whom will appear only after a verb or preposition.

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In more general terms what you seem to be asking is whether a 'supplemental' or 'parenthetical' phrase—in this case an appositive—can be placed between a nominal and its following adjunct—in this case, a restrictive relative clause.

A clear test for grammaticality here is whether the adjunct whose connection with its head is "interrupted" by the supplement is still sufficiently connected to justify the use of the definite article with a previously unidentified head.

A: I spoke to the man in the corner —
B: Which man? There were three men in the corner.
C: I spoke to the man, obviously their leader, with an eyepatch.

This is a grammatical usage.

That is not to say, however, that this is a wise usage. There are many constructions permitted by English grammar which even sophisticated readers find ambiguous or difficult to parse.

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