0

Use commas around a “nonessential clause,” which is material that is extra information and does not change the meaning of the sentence when taken out.

My brother, who is single, lives in New York City. (nonessential)

My brother who is single lives in New York City. (essential) (why?)

Does this mean it's your choice whether you think the information is essential or non-essential? What is the difference between this usage and the below example which states the indentifier of the sentence may prompt the usage of commas.

https://awc.ashford.edu/grammar-punctuation-commas.html

If the parenthetical element in the sentence is closely identified with the subject the comma may not be necessary.

His wife Jill was a high flyer in the city.

Jill, his wife, was a high flyer in the city.

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_06.htm

4

In the first case, it may be essential if you have established that you have two brothers, and you are specifying which brother with "who is single".

I have two brothers. One of my brothers married and moved to California, but my brother who is single still lives in NYC.

It is essential, because if you remove the phrase "who is single" you get a something that doesn't make sense:

I have two brothers. One of my brothers married and moved to California, but my brother still lives in NYC. (??)

It's not a great example, since it would be better to write

I have two brothers. One of my brothers married and moved to California, but my other brother, who is single, still lives in NYC.

Adding the word "other" makes the phrase "who is single" non-essential.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.