I am not always sure how to check if a relative clause is essential (defining) or non-essential (non-defining).
Let's take this example from MGMAT's SC
book, pages 93 and 97, 12th edition:Well-informed people know that Bordeaux is a French region whose most famous export is the wine that bears its name
I am interested in the underlined relative clause that modifies region
. Is this clause essential or non-essential?
This clause can be considered non-essential because...
- because of the indefinite article "a" in "a French region". After all, the sentence could have said "the French region famous for its same=named wine".
- because even without this modifier it is still clear, which French region is meant.
This clause can be considered essential because...
- because there is no comma before whose. Do we need one?
- because if we remove the clause, the meaning of the sentence changes. Well-informed people know that Bordeaux is a French region.
Now those people do not look that informed any more.
Sergey Orshanskiy, Ph.D.
I tutor in NYC: http://www.wyzant.com/Tutors/NY/New-Yor ... ref=1RKFOZ