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General Writing and Grammar Help/Restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses

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Question
Dear Ted:

Do the following sentences have the same meaning?

1) She was the woman seen wandering the streets at night, whose son had been lost at the lake.

2) Seen wandering the streets at night, she was the woman whose son had been lost at the lake.

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

  

Do the following sentences have the same meaning?

1) She was the woman seen wandering the streets at night, whose son had been lost at the lake.

2) Seen wandering the streets at night, she was the woman whose son had been lost at the lake.

*** You really cannot compare them, Paolo.  The first sentence is completely wrong.  The clause beginning with "whose son" must be placed immediately after or very near the word it modifies, "woman."  You have it modifying "night."

The second sentence is excellent.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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