1. The woman who is standing near the door is a doctor.

2. The woman, who is standing near the door, is a doctor.

What is difference in meaning between (1) and (2).

1. That specific woman who is standing near the door - and no other woman in the area - is a doctor.
2. The woman is a doctor. (Oh, and by the way, did you notice? She's standing near the door, too.)

The commas are almost like parentheses. The material between the commas may be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence.
I have to disagree, CalifJim. To be sure there are such things as restrictive and non restrictive clauses. But in this case, unless there is some grand gesture to clearly point the woman out, both sentences are restrictive. The information is needed to identify the woman.

Do we normally set these types of phrases off with commas? No, most assuredly we do not and this I suggest, makes this sentence a highly unlikely but possible sentence.

1. The woman who is standing near the door is a doctor.

With a gesture towards the woman in question, which clearly identified her, sentence 2. would become nonrestrictive.

2. The woman, who is standing near the door, is a doctor.
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Would you Please explain the terms "restrictive and non restrictive clauses" for me .

Somewhere I have read this but right now I am able to understand it.


Please reply.

Hello hanuman 2000. I am fairly new here. I have been posting under "Guest" for a while and I've only just registered today. Anyway, I noticed that sometimes I get an answer after only a few minutes, sometimes it takes hours, and sometimes even days. You have to be patient sometimes, he might not have seen your question yet, or had the time to answer it, and I don't think that you will make him any faster by telling him to "please reply".
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Simply, a restrictive modifier is required to identify the referent, where a non-restrictive modifier merely adds extra information.

'I want to buy a yellow convertible'-- 'yellow' is a restrictive adjective: we cannot identify the kind of car s/he wants without it.

'Please buy me this cute convertible' -- 'cute' is non-restrictive, because the car is already definitively identified by the demonstrative adjective 'this'; 'cute' is just extra information about the speaker's feelings.

Restrictive and non-restrictive clauses work the same way:

'The woman who is standing near the door is a doctor.' -- the clause is restrictive, needed for identification of which woman is being spoken of. Restrictive clauses are normally without demarcating commas.

'Naomi Witherspoon, who is standing by the door, is a doctor.' -- here, the name identifies the person (we are speaking grammatically, not spatially-- in reality it may still require JTT's gesture toward the figure); therefore is now a non-restrictive clause, adding extra information about Naomi, and is traditionally set off from the rest of the sentence by commas.

Thanks a lot for your excdellent explanation. I wAS IN NEED.

thanks once again.
But what is the difference between restrictive/non-restrictive and an appositive?
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