Exercises on Restrictive and Non-restrictive Clause

Which sentence contains restrictive (or non-restrictive) clause?

In the three exercises below, identify which sentence contains a restrictive clause and which contains a non-restrictive. Also, if necessary, punctuate the sentence with comma(s). Remember, a non-restrictive clause takes a pair of commas if it falls in the middle of a sentence and a comma if at the end of a sentence.

Comma(s) that go with a non-restrictive clause have been dropped in the exercises. Otherwise, it’ll be too easy to identify, isn’t it? To identify restrictive and non-restrictive clause, you should instead apply the fundamental test: If the noun loses its identity on dropping the relative clause, then it’s restrictive. Otherwise, non-restrictive.

Learn more about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses:

(Note: Relative clauses have been underlined in all the answers.)

Exercise 1

1. There is a boy in my batch who is too conscious about his hair.

2. Mahatma Gandhi who studied law in England led India’s freedom movement.

3. I did my undergrad in Boston where some of the top universities are based.

4. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others.

5. The house where no one has lived for years looks like a ghost house.

Answers to Exercise 1

1. Restrictive

There is a boy in my batch who is too conscious about his hair. [Since it’s a restrictive clause, it takes no comma.]

2. Non-restrictive

Mahatma Gandhi, who studied law in England, led India’s freedom movement. [Since it’s a non-restrictive clause, it takes a pair of commas.]

3. Non-restrictive

I did my undergrad in Boston, where some of the top universities are based. [Since it’s a non-restrictive clause at the end of the sentence, it takes a single comma.]

4. Restrictive

Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others.

5. Restrictive

The house where no one has lived for years looks like a ghost house.

Exercise 2

1. You own quite a comfortable car which is adequate for you.

2. He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.

3. My mother who saw spark in my eyes for colors and design nudged me towards a course in fashion design.

4. Don’t live a lifestyle that overextends your means

5. Anyone who plays the game can teach the game.

Answers to Exercise 2

1. Non-restrictive

You own quite a comfortable car, which is adequate for you.

2. Restrictive

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.

3. Non-restrictive

My mother, who saw spark in my eyes for colors and design, nudged me towards a course in fashion design.

4. Restrictive

Don’t live a lifestyle that overextends your means.

5. Restrictive

Anyone who plays the game can teach the game.

Exercise 3

1. The man who lives next door is a doctor.

2. The earlier software contractor wrote a bloated code which now needs to be rewritten.

3. My neighbor who won last week’s lottery gave all his money to a bird sanctuary.

4. The charts that have not been fully updated fail to show anything concrete.

5. Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

Answers to Exercise 3

1. Restrictive

The man who lives next door is a doctor.

2. Non-restrictive

The earlier software contractor wrote a bloated code, which now needs to be rewritten.

3. Restrictive

My neighbor who won last week’s lottery gave all his money to a bird sanctuary. [If there was only one neighbor, the clause will be non-restrictive.]

4. Restrictive

The charts that have not been fully updated fail to show anything concrete.

5. Restrictive

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.

One comment

  1. Edelei Fakdawer

    thankyou this exercise so helping me to understanding the restrctive and nonrestrictive

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