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restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clauses-LetPub英文科技论文写作杂谈之7

英文论文写作过程中,逗号的使用往往会改变一句句子所要表达的意思,这种现象往往在一些复合从句的表达中出现,LetPub结合多年服务于英文科技论文的编辑经验,搜集了一些中国作者在英文写作中经常出现的错误,下面列出最常见的一类句子举例,希望对您有所帮助。


Restrictive vs. Nonrestrictive Clauses

An author sent me this:

  • Local residents, impacted by ecological restoration projects, should be compensated.
  • Local residents impacted by ecological restoration projects should be compensated.
Would that be okay if I remove commas here? Thanks.

Actually, that would change the meaning. In its current form, the words "who are" are implied before "impacted."

Local residents, who are impacted by ecological restoration projects, should be compensated.

This means that 1. all local residents are impacted by ecological restoration projects and 2. they should be compensated. Here, "who are impacted by ecological restoration projects" is called a non-restrictive clause because it is only describing the residents.

Local residents who are impacted by ecological restoration projects should be compensated.

This means that 1. some local residents are affected by these projects and some are not. 2. only those who are affected should be compensated.

Here, "who are impacted by ecological restoration projects" is a restrictive clause, because it restricts the meaning of the sentence to only some local residents and not others.

So the question is this: Is the original writer telling us that all the local residents referred to in this paper are impacted by the projects and therefore due compensation or arguing that only some of them deserve (or need) compensation? It should be pretty clear from the rest of the paper.

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