Tag Archives: relative clauses

Do You Hear What I Hear?

English teachers often talk about “interrupters” and the difference between “restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.” Because I like simplicity, I prefer to call these Comma Rule 3 sentences…and a number of people have told me they like the simplicity of dealing with only three comma rules for most sentences. (Click here to watch a short video about Comma Rule 3.)

Let’s try a quiz! Can you tell which sentences require commas? (Hint: Read them aloud and listen for voice changes. Voice drops indicate that you need commas.) Scroll down for the answers.

1. Women who wear a red carnation on Mother’s Day are honoring a mother still living.

2.  I will send a message to Jack Hokkinen who’s in charge of the meeting about your suggestion.

3.  Fifteen hours which is what I usually spend on the financial report wasn’t enough this month.

4.  Central Florida home of Walt Disney World is a great place for a winter vacation.

5.  We need to remind everyone who works in Human Resources about the new procedure.

Here are the answers:

1. Women who wear a red carnation on Mother’s Day are honoring a mother still living. (No commas: You’re referring only to women who wear red carnations)

2.  I will send a message to Jack Hokkinen, who’s in charge of the meeting, about your suggestion. (Use commas: “who’s in charge of the meeting” is extra information)

3.  Fifteen hours, which is what I usually spend on the financial report, wasn’t enough this month. (Use commas: “which is what I usually spend on the financial report” is extra information)

4.  Central Florida, home of Walt Disney World, is a great place for a winter vacation. (Use commas: “home of Walt Disney World” is extra information)

5.  We need to remind everyone who works in Human Resources about the new procedure. (No commas: You’re referring only to people who work in Human Resources)

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