When To Use & Not To Use Commas In Adjective Clauses – English Grammar Lesson

happy-english-adjective-clauses

A lot of students have a tough time knowing when to use commas in adjective clauses in English. It is a very confusing point to understand and remember…until now. This lesson, which I wrote today, will teach you the basic rules. The examples that I will show you should clear up any confusion that you may have about this English grammar point. Take a deep breath and check out today’s free English grammar lesson:

We use commas when the adjective clause modifies a proper noun (the name of a person or place, usually written with capital letters):

  • Jane, who works in my office, is married and lives in Brooklyn.
  • New York, which is popular with tourists, is the business capital of America.
  • My aunt Mary, who grew up in Queens, is a fantastic cook.

We also use commas when the adjective clause gives us extra information about the noun that comes before it. If you remove the adjective clause and the commas, the sentence still makes sense. As well, it is clear from the sentence which noun we are talking about:

  • Madison Park, which was built in 1847, was the original home of arm and torch of Statue of Liberty. We know which park, Madison Park. “which was built in 1847” gives us extra information about the park.
  • Jack’s sister Jenny, who works in a bank, is a talented ping pong player. We know who Jenny is – she is Jack’s sister. “who works in a bank” gives us extra information about Jenny.
  • The hotel on Madison Ave., which is painted pink, has a very nice café on the second floor. We know what hotel – the one on Madison Ave. “which is painted pink” gives us extra information about the hotel.

On the other hand, we don’t use commas when the adjective clause defines the noun that comes before it. If you remove the adjective clause it will not be clear from the sentence which noun we are talking about:

  • There are two old parks in midtown. One was built in 1830 and the other was built in 1847. The park which was built in 1847 was the original home of the arm and torch of Statue of Liberty. We need to know which park, and “which was built in 1847” defines the park. If you removed “which was built in 1847” you wouldn’t know what park was the original home of the arm and torch of Statue of Liberty.
  • Jack has three sisters. Jack’s sister who works in a bank is a talented ping-pong player. We need to know which of Jack’s sisters is a talented ping-pong player, and “who works in a bank” defines which of Jack’s sisters we are talking about.
  • There are a few nice hotels in this neighborhood. The hotel which is painted pink has a very nice café on the second floor. We need to know which hotel, among all of the hotels in this neighborhood has a café. It’s the one “which is painted pink.” If someone said, “The hotel has a very nice café on the second floor,” you would probably ask, “what hotel?

So use the commas when the adjective clause gives you extra information about the noun, and don’t use the commas when the adjective clause defines the noun, telling you which noun is being talked about.
If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 

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5 Phrasal Verbs Using Move – English Vocabulary Lesson

5 Phrasal Verbs Using Move - English Vocabulary Lesson

She’s moving out this weekend!

Move in means to start living in a new home or, in the case of a business, a new office:

  • Happy English moved in to this space three years ago.
  • Jack found a new apartment. He’s going to move in on May 1st.
  • You can move in once you pay the first month’s rent.

In a similar way, we use move in with to show that someone began sharing a home with another person:

  • Lori moved in with her boyfriend last summer.
  • Her parents didn’t agree with her moving in with him because they are not married.
  • Danny moved in with his brother when he left his wife.

The opposite of move in is move out, meaning to stop living or running a business in a place:

  • Serena said she wants to move out from her parent’s house after college.
  • If you don’t like your roommate that much, you should move out.
  • Jim’s company finally moved out of that old office building.

Move on means to progress from one situation to another.

  • After ten years in ABC Bank, Bob moved on to become the CEO of XYZ Bank.
  • I’ve stayed in this company for a long time without a promotion. I think its time to move on.
  • Joe acted in some musicals in New York before moving on to doing movies in Hollywood.

Move over means to change your position in order to provide space for another person. As well, move over can also be used for things:

  • Can you move over? I would like to sit on that bench too.
  • Why are you sitting on that side of the sofa? Move over next to me!
  • The flowers on the table are pretty, but can you please move them over? I can’t see everyone!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 

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3 Ways To Use “Give Me A Break” – English Idiom Lesson & Mp3

happy-english-give-me-a-break-idiom

As an idiom in English, the phrase give me a break has three different meanings and uses. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at this common and very useful idiom. By the way, the pronunciation is Gimme a break! Check the audio file below.

Download the Mp3

First of all, we use give me a break to mean “I don’t believe you!” or “That can’t be true!” When someone says something that sounds unbelievable or untrue, you can say, Give me a break! Here are a few examples:

  • Bob: I heard that someone jumped off the Empire State Building with a parachute.
  • Joe: Give me a break! The security in that building is too tight for such a stunt.
  • Ted: Joe said that he saw Johnny Depp at the diner on 6th Ave.
  • Jen: Give me a break! I doubt any movie star would eat at that crappy diner.

We also use Give me a break! when someone is bothering us. In this case it means, “Stop bothering me, please!” or “Ok, that’s enough!”

  • Jack: Are you finished yet? I want to watch TV?
  • Jane: Jack! Give me a break! I told you I am studying for an important exam. Go watch TV at your friends house.
  • Dan: Isn’t dinner ready yet? I’m so hungry!
  • Serena: Oh, give me a break! It’s not easy to cook popovers.

Lastly, we use Give me a break! when someone is scolding us or reprimanding us for something. Here, the meaning is “Don’t be so harsh!” or “Please be more lenient with me.”

  • Boss: You know you’ve been late twice this week.
  • Worker: Can you give me a break? My daughter caught the flu and I’ve needed more time to care for her in the morning.
  • Policeman: Miss, you were driving too fast on that street.
  • Danielle: I’m sorry officer. Please give me a break! I am going to a job interview and if I am late, I’ll never get the job.

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 

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