2

Can you tell me which one is correct. I think the second one (without who) is correct but the answer key is the first one (who). I don't understand.

  1. J. Francisco Chaves, who took office as the first Superintendent of Public instruction for the territory of New Mexico.

  2. J. Francisco Chaves took office as the first Superintendent of Public instruction for the territory of New Mexico.

Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas!

  • 5
    The first one consists of a noun phrase and a relative clause which modifies it; it is not a sentence. The second one is a sentence. – StoneyB Dec 25 '13 at 4:31
  • So basically that depends on the sentence, which I presume, came prior to the question itself. Isn't it, @StoneyB? – Safira Dec 25 '13 at 15:58
  • @Safira Well, the question in the title is "Is that a relative clause?" Neither (1) nor (2) is a relative clause, but (1) has a relative clause and (2) does not. – StoneyB Dec 25 '13 at 16:19
  • Oh yeah. I forgot to read the title. :D – Safira Dec 25 '13 at 16:21
2

1) J. Francisco Chaves, who took office as the first Superintendent of Public instruction for the territory of New Mexico.

The phrase "who took... of New Mexico" is a relative clause and modifies "J. Francisco Chaves". Remember that you can delete most of modifiers without changing the basic sentence structure (subject, main verb, objects etc). Taking out the modifiers from 1) you would end up the following phrase.

J, Francisco Chaves.

This is obviously just a noun--no verb nor other sentence components. Writing just a noun (phrase) is not wrong. But readers may feel it is unfinished. You can give some impacts by putting a noun (phrase) in your passage, but you have to be careful to do so because readers may expect a sentence.

The second one is a completed sentence.

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