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This question is an exact duplicate of:

I had 4 ideas that I wanted to yoke together in one sentence:

  1. Gaveston alienates the queen
  2. Gaveston antagonizes the barons
  3. embroils the country in a bloody civil war
  4. the war culminates in the murder of the king.

Gaveston alienates the queen from the king, antagonizes the barons and embroils the country in a bloody civil war, which culminates in the murder of the king.

I want to make sure that "which culminates in the murder of the king" part is correctly attached with the war part and not with the "Gaveston" part of the sentence.

marked as duplicate by J.R. Jun 11 '18 at 13:55

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

  • Why you think it's not correctly joined? Where did you see this sentence? – Cardinal Jun 11 '18 at 13:47
  • I wrote it myself. I had 4 ideas that I wanted to yoke together in one sentence: (1) Gaveston alienates the queen (2) Gaveston antagonizes the barons (3) embroils the country in a bloody civil war (4) the war culminates in the murder of the king. I want to make sure that "which culminates in the murder of the king" part is correctly attached with the war part and not with the "Gaveston" part of the sentence. – Shivam Jun 11 '18 at 13:53
  • Next time, please be more patient about your questions getting reopened. – J.R. Jun 11 '18 at 13:56
  • Just to make it clear, I want to make sure that it's clear that it's the war in the previous clause that "culminates...". – Shivam Jun 11 '18 at 13:57
  • Just to make it clear, you should explain things that "make it clear" in your question, and not in comments below your question. – J.R. Jun 11 '18 at 14:06
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The clause, "which culminates in the murder of the king", is a restrictive clause, ie it cannot be excised from the sentence without removing an essential piece of information:

In traditional grammar, restrictive clauses start with the relative pronouns that, who, whom or whose. In recent times, due to common use, some grammarians will accept restrictive clauses that begin with "which". Further, restrictive clauses are not offset by commas before the relative pronoun. So, the correct way to write this sentence would be:

Gaveston alienates the queen from the king, antagonizes the barons and embroils the country in a bloody civil war that culminates in the murder of the king.

I would personally prefer a comma between 'barons" and and", but I will leave that for now.

Just for completion, a non-restrictive clause is one which contains additional, but non-essential, information that can be excised from the sentence without affecting its intended meaning or structure. E.g If clause 4 had said:

the war started at the Northern border.

This is not essential information given the rest of the information supplied. The whole sentence would now read:

Gaveston alienates the queen from the king, antagonizes the barons and embroils the country in a bloody civil war, which started on the Northern border.

  • Thanks so much, James. I'd been struggling with this for almost 4 hours now. I really appreciate it.I had some doubts that I wanted to clear. You are spot on in the first paragraph that my intention with "which culminates..." clause is that it refers to the war in the previous clause and not to all the other actions mentioned before it.But I don't quite understand how it is a restrictive clause.I mean,can't we excise the whole "which culminates..."part in my answer and replace the comma with a full stop?It wouldn't feel like we have cut an essential piece of information.Is it restrictive then? – Shivam Jun 11 '18 at 15:03
  • @Shivam No problems. – James Jun 11 '18 at 15:26
  • Could you please explain as to how "which culminates..." is a restrictive clause? Can't it be excised and the rest of the would still feel that nothing is missing? – Shivam Jun 11 '18 at 15:49
  • The sentence makes three accusations directly against Gaveston, including embroiling the country in a civil war. As a result of that civil war the king was murdered. In a sentence that list the things Gaveston did wrong, being indirectly involved in the death of a king cannot be ignored; it is an essential piece of information regarding the list of problems for which Gaveston was responsible. – James Jun 11 '18 at 16:26
  • Thanks very much. What if we add another independent clause at the beginning of the sentence, how will that gel with the rest? E.g. "Gaveston is the bete noire of the play, who alienates the queen from the king, antagonizes the barons, and embroils the country in a bloody civil war that culminates in the murder of the king." Should there be a comma before "who"? Please explain. – Shivam Jun 11 '18 at 16:36

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