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The battle was fought in the field of Plassy, an old city of Murshidabad. [Plassy is a city]

The battle was fought in the field of Plassy, existed beside the river Ganga. [the field is on the bank river Ganga]

I often get confused to understand what the clause after the comma refers to. Another sentence:

My father used to visit the children of his family, which is very big.

He talks about the subject of the painting, hung on the wall.

He talks about the subject of the painting, which is taken from Bible.

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In a well-written English sentence, the relative clause usually refers to the last noun or noun phrase before the comma which sets off the relative clause:

The battle was fought in the field of PlassyANTECEDENT, an old city of Murshidabad.RELATIVE CLAUSE.

(In the following, we will replace the verb exist with the verb sit. It is is not idiomatic in this context to use the verb exist; instead, we would use the copular be or another verb like sit.)

Your second sentence omits the relative pronoun "which":

The battle was fought in the field of PlassyANTECEDENT, [which]RELATIVE PRONOUN sat beside the river Ganga.RELATIVE CLAUSE

As you noticed, it is unclear, even with the addition of the relative pronoun, whether the relative clause refers to the proper noun "Plassy", or to the preposition phrase "field of Plassy". This is the fault of the writer, and not of the poor reader! To clear up the confusion, we could use "Pied-piping" to repeat the noun that heads the preposition phrase:

The battle was fought in the field of PlassyANTECEDENT, [which field]RELATIVE PRONOUN sat beside the river Ganga.RELATIVE CLAUSE

This, however, is archaic English. A better version of the sentence will make the antecedent quite clear:

The battle was fought in Plassy on a fieldANTECEDENT [which]RELATIVE PRONOUN sat beside the river Ganga.RELATIVE CLAUSE

Even better, the writer can dispense with the relative clause entirely:

The battle was fought beside the river Ganga in the field of Plassy.

Your other examples present other difficulties, but they are not as obvious as the first.

My father used to visit the children of his familyANTECEDENT, which is very big.RELATIVE CLAUSE

Here, the antecedent is clear: the last noun before the comma is family, and any English speaking reader will understand that it is the family which is big.

Your next example is ungrammatical in English: it omits the necessary relative pronoun which. With the pronoun in place, we have:

He talks about the subject of the paintingANTECEDENT, which hung on the wall.RELATIVE CLAUSE

Here again, the context makes the antecedent clear to an English-speaking reader: a subject cannot hang upon a wall!

He talks about the subject of the paintingANTECEDENT, which is taken from Bible.RELATIVE CLAUSE

Here, although most English-speaking readers know that the Christian scriptures do not include any paintings, some confusion may arise. To resolve the problem, we can use the Saxon genitive instead of the preposition of to indicate possession:

He talks about the painting's subjectANTECEDENT, which is taken from Bible.RELATIVE CLAUSE

  • He saw a man in her room who is dark and tall. Here the word who comes after room. – Arkaprava Bose Jul 22 '17 at 20:14
  • @ArkapravaBose That is a very badly-written sentence in English. It should be: "He saw in her room a man who is dark and tall" or "He saw a man who is dark and tall in her room." – P. E. Dant Jul 22 '17 at 20:17
  • Can I write painting's? I was taught that only living thing can be written like this. Like father's name, the old man's daughter. Can I write sky's stars? or should I write the stars of the sky? Please help. – Arkaprava Bose Jul 22 '17 at 20:58
  • The prohibition against use of the Saxon genitive to modify inanimate objects exists only in ancient grammars (such as those unfortunately still in common use in South Asia). You can use the Saxon genitive where you like, but it's often not the most felicitous choice. I used it in my answer because the alternative might be worse. There's nothing wrong with "the sky's stars", but the alliteration is a little clumsy. There is a good answer at ELU on the subject. – P. E. Dant Jul 22 '17 at 21:27

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