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Hello.

There was a sentence which is "There are the stars giving lots of lights which can't be seen by normal telescopes."

And we discussed about it.

What can't be seen? Lights or Stars?

Some people here said "now lights. If you put a comma before "which", it means: "stars" ".

But I learned that if we use relative clause, we can put two commas or no commas. We don't have any chance to put "one comma" for a relative clause.

And now,

How do we understand what can't be seen? Because when we look at the meaning of the sentence, both of them look like possible. What do you think?

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The sentence is faulty. No wonder you are having difficulties with it! Here is the corrected version.

There are the stars emitting light which can't be seen by normal telescopes.

We assume that a "normal" telescope is a traditional optical instrument that collects and focuses light in the visual range. That is, electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 390 to 700 nm. All stars emit radiation that is outside this visible band. For example, neutron stars emit X-Rays. Even our own sun emits radio, infrared and ultraviolet light, which we cannot see except with special types of telescopes.

There are the stars emitting light, which can't be seen by normal telescopes.

There are stars which are virtually "invisible" to us, such as brown dwarfs and black holes. Brown dwarfs emit mostly infrared light which a normal telescope cannot detect.

Black holes are not included in "the stars" referred to in either sentence because they emit no electromagnetic radiation at all.

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Do you mean;

for "There are the stars emitting light which can't be seen by normal telescopes."

Light which can't be seen..

and for "There are the stars emitting light, which can't be seen by normal telescopes."

the stars which can't be seen..


But for putting a comma there, you should have "non-defining" relative clause.

For both possibility, you can't put a comma there. Because light is not a special name.

Jawel"There are the stars emitting light which can't be seen by normal telescopes."Light which can't be seen..

Yes. The light has wavelengths which the normal telescope cannot detect.
The stars can be seen because of the light they emit in the visible region of the spectrum.

Jaweland for "There are the stars emitting light, which can't be seen by normal telescopes."the stars which can't be seen..

yes. A clearer way to write this is this:

There are the stars which can't be seen by normal telescopes, even though they emit light.

Okay then, I will ask you one more question.

It is from Bill Gates's speech.

" There were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered. "

What weren't delivered in that sentence? Lives or Interventions? Most of people said: "Interventions."

But according to your ideas, It must be "Lives". Because there is no comma after "lives" to seperate.

What do you think? I think now this sentence means "lives". But if there was a comma, it would means "interventions".. What are your thoughts?

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Okay then,

Why is it "stars" when there is a comma? and why is it "lights" when there is no comma?

Even if there is no comma, sometimes it refers to first noun. Not the noun before itself.

For example;

Can you think of the name of a flower which begins with "T" ?

This relative clause(which) is referring to "the name", even if there is no comma.

What do you think?

Jawel" There were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered. "

If you watched the video I posted on the subject of adjective (relative) clauses, you would have learned that to find the the noun being modified, you must use everyday logic. The syntax is not enough. Sometimes the context makes it very clear.


 Melinda and I read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever. One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a million kids each year – none of them in the United States. 

We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not. For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered.

So in Bill Gates' sentence, are lives being delivered (to the children), or are interventions delivered (to the children)?

Jawelfor "There are the stars emitting light which can't be seen by normal telescopes."Light which can't be seen..

Yes. When there is no comma, and the nearest noun makes complete logical sense, then the clause is defining the preceding noun.

If you make 2 sentences it becomes this:

There are the stars emitting light. That light can't be seen by normal telescopes.

Jawel"There are the stars emitting light, which can't be seen by normal telescopes."

The sentence is ambiguous, but the comma after "light" tells us that it is not defining or limiting "light." That causes me to pick the word "stars" because it makes more sense, logically. As I explained before, I would write the sentence differently so as to remove all ambiguity.

"There are the stars emitting light. Those stars can't be seen by normal telescopes."

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JawelCan you think of the name of a flower which begins with "T" ?

Flowers don't begin with letters. Names of flowers (tulip, tuberose, tiger lily) do begin with letters.

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