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Regarding restrictive and nonrestrictive adjective clauses, I basically know how to use them.

However, I am kind of curious about the abbreviation usages of nonrestrictive adjective clauses.

For instance: I know these are right

  • She is the girl goofing around last night = she is the girl who goofed around last night

  • This is her famous series called Harry Potter = this is her famous series which is called Harry Potter.

They are abbreviations of restrictive adjective clauses.

Then, my question is how the abbreviations of nonrestrictive adjective clauses work.

Do they work like this? For example:

  • This is J. K. Rowling's most successful series, called Harry Potter.

  • He is my dad, cleaning the room

  • John is my big brother, studying in Physics.

Are them equal to the sentences below?

  • This is J. K. Rowling's most successful series, which is called Harry Potter.

  • He is my dad, who is cleaning the room

  • John is my big brother, who studies in Physics.

Can I just add a comma and a space to abbreviate nonrestrictive adjective clauses? Or actually, there are no that kind of usages?

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First, an observation:

All of your examples have “Be” as the main verb with a subject complement in the main clause. A subject complement is a word or phrase which follows a linking verb and describes or identifies the subject. A subject complement is an adjective, a noun, or a pronoun. This is key to your problem.

Also, you say you have a basic idea of how to use restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, so I will try limit this discussion to cover only your question.

These kinds of clauses are more often used in writing, rather than in everyday speech. The sentences you have given as examples would normally be used in everyday conversation.

Some examples of non-restrictive clauses:

These sentences have action verbs and non-restrictive clauses modifying the object.

He ran into the room, which was on fire.

She lives alone in a small garret, which is very cheap.

These sentences have the verb “Be” and non-restrictive clauses modifying the subject.

My father, who is working at the widget factory, is a religious man.

This book, which I borrowed from the library, is my favorite.

These sentences have action verbs, and the dependant clauses modify the subject.

He ran into the room, calling out “Fire!”

She lives in a garret, pretending to be an artist.

I believe you are getting confused between the usages.

Non-restrictive relative clauses can be reduced in one way:

Subject pronouns with “be” verbs can be deleted in non-restrictive clauses.

I am moving to Louisville, KY, which is home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.

I am moving to Louisville, KY, home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.

My mother, who is an excellent cook, is thinking of opening a restaurant.

My mother, an excellent cook, is thinking of opening a restaurant.

Otherwise, the relative pronoun (who, which) may not be deleted in a non-restrictive relative clause.

Also, with the exception of your first example, I would just rewrite the sentences as:

My dad is cleaning the room. or The man cleaning the room is my dad.

My brother, John, is studying Physics.

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Normally, non-restrictive relative clauses are used with commas.

The participle clauses work both restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses.
For instance,

» A valuable statuette, made of gold, will be sold tomorrow = A valuable statuette, which was made of gold, will be sold tomorrow.

Related.

  • The sentence you provided "A valuable statuette, made of gold, will be sold tomorrow" can also mean "A valuable statuette which was made of gold will be sold tomorrow", which is a restrictive clause? Wouldn't that be a little bit ambiguous? – vincentlin Mar 13 '16 at 15:41
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This is J. K. Rowling's most successful series, called Harry Potter.

He is my dad, cleaning the room

John is my big brother, studying in Physics.

I think these are examples of ellipsis not reduction.

... most successful series -- called Harry Potter. [and it's]

...He is [that's] my dad -- cleaning the room. [ and he's ]

... my big brother -- studying Physics. [and he's]

  • Isn't the big brother is incorrect? Shouldn't it be elder brother? – Anubhav Singh Sep 9 '16 at 6:51

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