34

You are correct, Copperkettle. Which can refer to the fact just described, even if this fact is described by a whole clause and which has no antecedent noun to latch onto. Every fluent speaker knows this. The SAT prep course is wrong. I don't know of an authority you can cite to "win" an argument, but I would be very surprised if standard reference works on ...


26

What is canonization? It is an act. Specifically, it is the act by which the Church declares something—a declaration, then. What does the Church declare? It declares that a person who died was a saint. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, recently declared that Mother Teresa was a saint. What happens upon that declaration (that is, immediately ...


24

It doesn't. In this circumstance if you said "that life has developed gradually", this would imply life had developed the planet "that life has developed ON gradually" is correct.


21

It's not you. It's them. I'm a mathematician and native English speaker, and I don't understand that sentence. I think that they are trying to say that they use the symbol tan⁻¹ for the 1-1 function on ℝ which is the inverse of the restriction of the tangent map to (-π/2, π/2), and use the symbol Arctan for an extension of it to ℂ (which either is thought of ...


21

It is a bad question that doesn't test English skills and so should be ignored. I believe the questioner wants you to notice the difference between: Amanda, who lives in New York and my brother who doesn't [live in New York] The first, with a comma, is a non-restrictive relative clause. It describes Amanda. The second, without a comma, is a ...


19

You can make the sentence less ambiguous by expressing the intended concept more explicitly. For example: It's a sphere inside a cube, with the cube representing the parent shape of the sphere. or It's a sphere inside a cube, where the cube represents the parent shape of the sphere.


18

Short answer: We can't use the word that here. Full answer: Hawking believes that the earth is unlikely to be the only planet ____ life has developed gradually. Here we are interested in the last part of the sentence. I'll make it shorter, so it's easy to see what is happening: Earth is unlikely to be the only planet ____ life has developed gradually. ...


15

I'd like to draw attention to the comma before which. Here the comma separates the two parts of the statement. Were the comma missing, which would refer to the bus. With comma the which refers to the whole first part of the sentence.


14

Others have explained why you can't simply omit the "that". However, in this case it would be idiomatic to omit "that is", leaving "There is so much at stake for many."


12

Yes. See Frequency of Basic English Grammatical Structures: A Corpus Analysis (Roland et al. 2009): In the Switchboard corpus, representing unscripted conversation, they found 25,440 relative clauses per million noun phrases. In the Wall Street Journal corpus, representing formal written English, they found 46,788 relative clauses per million noun phrases. ...


12

The normal form of this sentence would be Many people who were interested in art came. But sentences like that can be hard to understand, because the long relative clause who were interested in art keeps the listener/reader waiting for the main verb came. In some circumstances English allows the components to be swapped, to keep the "light" verb ...


10

JKR’s “authorial voice” is suppressed. She mostly writes in the casual dialect of her characters, to give a sense of how they experience the events of the story. The very long noun phrase about the vampire conjoins two propositions about that creature: he’d met the vampire in Romania he was afraid [that] the vampire would be coming back to get him one ...


10

Both who each and which each are acceptable, though be wary of verb agreement: I met three sisters who each have identical twins. The substance is regulated by the US and the EU, which each specify different toxicity levels. In this case, we require plural agreement, …objects which each do something to be grammatical. As Kevin notes, however, this ...


9

As a native American English speaker, I hear all three sentences as almost indistinguishable. The differences are very subtle. The first one has a ceremonial feel. The phrasing “the first to be…” carries the connotation of being special and important. That's probably the best choice for this topic. The third sentence might be just a little awkward, since ...


9

The original text: We seem to forget that we all have some rights over the government. The government has come into being primarily to serve the needs of the citizen, which [sic] he as an individual or as a member of a small community cannot take care. It is important (that) we have an accountable government. Your question: I really don't understand ...


9

I followed the link to the test. Although I couldn't see the test itself, I was able to locate the answers and then some further discussion (which, unfortunately, just makes everything worse): This question asked whether it was possible to ascertain the sex of Evelyn from the following sentence: “I should like to introduce you to my sister Amanda, ...


8

Without the commas, the "which" becomes a restrictive clause: it's there to tell you which University of St. Andrews the sentence is talking about, i.e. it's implying that there is more than one such university. Since that's presumably not true (there's only one University of St. Andrews), you have to put in the commas to make the "which" part into a simple ...


8

Locative Adjuncts She plays football in the park In the sentence above, the Subject is she and the Object is football. What is that bit at the end, in the park? It is a Locative Adjunct (sometimes called a "Locative Adverbial"). It gives us extra information about where something happens. Usually, Locative Adjuncts are preposition phrases. In the sentence ...


8

The subject is "mutations", so a plural verb "result" is expected, and normal. Having said that, the closer noun often does exert some influence, and you will hear the singular "results", particularly in informal contexts. Some people castigate this use as "wrong".


8

The subject of the main clause is I. But then that subject talks about himself in the third person: The Rumplestiltskin who spins straw into gold. Spins agrees with the subject of the relative clause.


8

No, the relative pronoun that cannot be omitted in the sentence "There is so much (that) is at stake for many". This is because that functions as the subject of the defining relative clause that is at stake. When the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause it cannot be omitted. The same applies to the other relative pronouns. For example: ...


8

It is the only pub ________ this local beer is served. where or that? It is the only pub where this local beer is served It is the only pub that serves this local beer. It is the only pub that this local beer is served at.some would call this marginal but it's widely used It is the only place __________ the snow never melts. It is the only place where ...


7

There is no need for a conjunction; the second clause is not independent but a subordinate relative clause modifying novels: ... the film versions of which have been ... This is a common inversion of the ‘canonical’ order ... of which the film versions have been ...


7

You understand this precisely. CGEL (398-9) identifies which, what, whichever and whatever as relative determinatives and remarks that The only relative determinative found outside the fused construction is which. It occurs in supplementary but not integrated relatives. The ‘fused construction’ is also known as the ‘free relative’ construction, so CGEL ...


7

The antecedent of which is not the noun concepts but the adjective related: ... in fact they are not related. ... in fact they are not [which] ↓ ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ← ↵ .... which in fact they are not


7

I have italicised the defining relative clauses: "The bag (that) he is carrying is very heavy." "Have you seen the photos (that) Ann took?" They are perfectly natural. The version with that omitted is more informal.


7

It depends on what which refers to. Both of these sentences are correct: Fruits are an evolutionary mechanism, which is as ancient as the hills. Fruits are an evolutionary mechanism, which are produced only by flowering plants. The choice of is/are tells a listener which noun which refers to: fruits or mechanism. One of the main uses of subject-...


7

It's correct usage. I'm assuming you already know what undergo itself means. The sentence contains a coordination of the complements of "of". It additionally omits any redundant matters that would've been used in the sentence. Then it proceeds to refer to processes with those, having created a mental image of processes beforehand. That's not wrong, that's ...


6

No, you cannot simply replace where with a relative pronoun or ‘null relativizer’. This is because where itself is not a relative pronoun—it does not ‘stand for’ a noun or NP—but a relative adverb: it stands for a locative, a preposition phrase. Where in your initial sentence does not represent ‘the place’ but ‘to the place’. Consequently, when you replace ...


6

This part of your understanding is correct: if commas were used in your examples, it would provide additional information. However, the rest of your understanding is not quite correct. The subtle (but important) difference is about implications. Let's try a simple example (not a relative clause): John: Hi, Jane! I've heard that you start learning ...


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