What is the difference between these sentences?

  1. Politicians who tell lies are to be despised.
  2. Politicians, who tell lies, are to be despised.

The two sentences do mean different things.

In sentence 1, the subject is a subset of politicians: Those politicians who tell lies. It is implied that there might be some politicians who do not tell lies.

In sentence 2, the subject is all politicians. The clause "who tell lies" describes the subject. It is implied that all politicians tell lies.

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