Defining and Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Extra information is added to a sentence by defining a noun using relative clauses. These clauses can be of two different types: defining relative clauses and non- defining relative clauses.

Defining relative clauses are used to give concrete information about what is being said or about whom it is being said. Omitting these clauses either makes the sentence meaningless or gives a completely different meaning. Defining relative clauses often immediately follow the noun they describe. To clarify the above statement observes the two sentences below.

•    They are the people who are buying our Mercedes Benz.
•    Did you buy the painting?

In the first sentence we have the pronoun as “who are buying our Mercedes Benz” and “the people” clarifies who is being referred to. But in the second sentence, it is not clear which painting is being referred to.

In spoken English, we often replace the defining clause who/whom with that. Few pointers with relation to defining relative clauses are as follow:

1.    Don’t use commas while writing defining relative clauses.

2.    The relative pronoun is often left out if it is the object of the verb.

3.    Do not use another personal pronoun in the relative clause if the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause.

Now let us understand what is non-defining relative clauses. Non- defining relative clauses though add extra information to the sentence but at the same time if they are omitted also it does not harm the meaning of the sentence. For example, Tom bought the painting done by Picasso, the world famous painter.

In the above sentence the world famous painter refers to the non defining relative clause even if this is omitted the meaning does not change since it is a well known fact that Picasso is world famous for his painting.

Non-defining relative clauses are usually separated by comma. Non defining clauses are mostly used in written English whereas defining clauses are used in spoken English. Mostly pronouns are used to introduce a non defining relative clause.

Importance of Articles in English Grammar

In English grammar, articles play a major role in giving some specific information about the noun they precede. A, an and the are recognized as articles in English language. ‘The’ is known as a definite article that identifies, specifies and describes a noun. It also identifies a specific class or group in the sentence. On the other hand, ‘a’ and ‘an’ are called as indefinite articles, which refer a noun in the general sense. ‘a’ precede noun and start with a consonant or a semivowel, whereas ‘an’ precede noun and start with a phonetic vowel. Both ‘a’ and ‘an’ are also used to state an individual’s profession. Let us understand the articles and its importance in detail.

Articles are small words, which can make a phrase meaningless, if not used correctly. These are used to distinguish things or ideas. Whether a writer or speaker, everyone use articles to refer to nouns. ‘The’ is used to refer to certain nouns, including singular and plural nouns. For example:

•    Please collect the book from the library.
•    Please collect all the books from the library.

Let see the use of ‘a’ and ‘an’, which are usually used to refer to non-specific nouns. For example:

•    Please give me a pen.
•    I am going to an event.

In the above sentences, article ‘a’ is referring to any pen. Similarly, article ‘an’ is referring to any event. In English grammar, articles are broadly categorized into two different types one is the definite article and another is indefinite articles, which are used in writing as well as in conversation in order to refer to a noun or a group of nouns. Here, the articles are discussed in details.

1. Definite article: ‘The’ is a definite article, which is mainly used for uncountable nouns and specific singular nouns and plural nouns. For instance, The wrinkles on my face (The wrinkles are specific and uncountable) or The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the seven wonders of the world (Here the leaning tower of Pisa is one such wonder, so it is a specific noun)

2. Indefinite article: ‘An’ and ‘a’ are indefinite articles that are primarily used to introduce unspecified noun. In simple words, these articles point out any person, thing, place or idea. For instance, A rose plant has lots of thorns (Here, rose plant could be any rose plant) or An elephant has a long trunk (Here, the elephant could be any elephant).

What is the Revising Stage in the Writing Process? Give an Example

Writing is a process of conveying thoughts and ideas through alphabets, words, phrases and punctuation. The basic rule of writing is brainstorming ideas. You need to think and research a lot about a topic, which you have planned to write. Searching or thinking about a topic is a first step in a writing process, which is also known as pre-writing stage. Once you select a topic, you must move to the second stage, which is known as drafting stage or writing stage. The third stage of the writing process is revising stage. Revising stage means re-seeing stage where you make changes in order to organize your content. Most writers adopt ARRR (Add, Rearrange, Remove and Replace) approach in the revising stage. While revising, your make sure that your ideas are clearly stated to the target audience. In addition to this, ensure that all the evidences and facts, which you have provided, support your claim.

Revising stage is an essential stage as at this stage you get time to organize your thoughts and ideas in a way that you have planned. Let us understand the revision stage with the help of an example mentioned below:

-    The Ganges river dolphins hunt with the help of ultrasonic sound. They live in freshwater and they are blind. 

The above mentioned statement explains about the hunting behavior of dolphins first and later indicates about their habitat. The way of providing information about the dolphins is not correct. Hence, you have to revise it and make changes in the sequence in a following way:

-    The Ganges river dolphins are blind and they can only live in freshwater. They hunt with the help of ultrasonic sounds.

In this way, you have to organize the information, idea or thought, which you provide to your readers though writing. According to the English language, writing is broadly categorized into 5 stages that are mentioned below:

1.   Pre-writing stage: In this stage, you have to decide first what you are going to write. Many writers first select the topic and then they decide what they will be going to write about the topic.

2.   Drafting: Drafting is the process of planning how you will arrange your thought in a written manner. After selecting a topic, the next step is to start drafting or writing.

3.    Revising: It is the stage where you look at your content through a reader’s eye. Hence, this stage is solely dedicated to reader as you have revise whether your content is written in a correct order.

4.  Editing: Editing involves checking grammar, sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, spelling, citation and capitalization of words and the format of the document.

5.  Publishing: When you write something, you must have written for a group of people. It is important to publish it for public, so that they are able to read your thoughts.

Tips for Writing Paragraph and Explain with Structure

A paragraph is a collection of meaningful sentences, which are arranged in an intangible manner. Through paragraphs, a writer segregates his or her thoughts and ideas in an organized manner. Paragraph writing is the base of all types of essay writing, including narrative essay, persuasive essay, expository essay and descriptive essay. One needs to understand the essential elements of paragraph writing in order to structure a proper paragraph. Let us understand the important elements of paragraph writing.

1. Unity: Start a paragraph with the topic sentence, which will describe the main idea or thought related to the topic. Generally, a paragraph is amalgamated with the supporting sentences that will give detail and discuss about the main idea, theme or thought. Hence, always start a paragraph with a good topic and decide which point will drive the rest of the points.

2. Order: Order is the flow which you maintain while drafting a paragraph. In paragraph writing, make sure you organize everything in a proper sequence. Right from the main idea to supporting sentences, every sentence should express something about the main idea.

3. Coherence: Coherence means the clarity and quality of your content. Make sure that you link all the sentences with each other so as to maintain clarity. It is ideal to use transition word so as to maintain a consistency of the sentences within the paragraph. This will help you in writing meaningful sentences and conveying your ideas clearly to the readers.

4. Completeness: Completeness refers to a well-structured paragraph. If the sentences in the paragraph are able to convey your main idea or thought clearly with the supporting facts, then it will be considered as a complete paragraph.

From aforesaid points, we have understood the main elements of a paragraph. Now, we will see how to structure a paragraph.

1. Topic sentence: When you write something you first select a topic. Hence, while writing a paragraph, your first sentence should be a topic sentence, which will state the main theme or idea. For example, if you are describing about the Siberian Tiger, then it will be like - Siberian tigers are the world’s largest cat.

2. Supporting facts: The supporting facts, arrange the body of the paragraph. The paragraph should contain detailed information, which will support the main topic. For example, you are informing the reader about the tiger population – According to the recent studies, there are approximately 400 to 500 Siberian tigers living in the wild. You can show the data and research studies to your readers.

3. Concluding statement: Concluding statement means closing statement. In this section, restate the main idea. You must summarize the main idea in the conclusion paragraph with all the supporting evidence. For example, wrap your thesis like Siberian tigers are the largest of all wild cats and due to hunting and deforestation, the population has reduced to 500.

It is good to structure meaningful paragraphs as it will allow you to reach your audience and also makes you a good writer. 

Response to Literature Essay Format

Response to literature essay basically denotes a specific type of writing in which the writer first reads the literature and then tries to describe the key points of the literature by giving his own illustrative examples. These examples might have been experienced by him in his day to day life. These responses mostly describe the important message of the literature and also depict the impact the literature has created on the writer. Setting the background, let us move forward to understand what steps should be followed while writing the responses to literature essay. A simple way of remembering the rules of writing the response is “I See Personal Connection” where each capital letter denotes one specific meaning as follows:

I: Introduction to the literature

S: Summary of the Story

P: Establish Personal Connection

C: Conclusion

•    Introductory Paragraph: The most important paragraph where we need to establish the thesis or the statement which we are trying to convey to the readers. The first one or two sentences become the most vital and hence act like a hook which grabs the reader’s attention. A hook can be a universal truth or a meaningful quote from the literature, an analogue, etc. Once the reader is hooked to your story, then try giving a few backgrounds of the literature stating why/where/whom of the literature. Next statement should establish your thesis or point of view. This statement should express what the purpose of your writing is and what can be expected by the readers.

•    Personal Connection Paragraphs: These paragraphs should begin with the topics which provoked you to think and write the article. Make sure these topics establish a connection with the thesis statement you have described in the introductory paragraph. Be expressive in explaining how the article has made a deep impact in your life. Try to give more illustrative examples which the reader gets connected to emotions.

•    Conclusion: Make sure each and every paragraph ends with a statement which re-establishes the fact which you have mentioned in your thesis. Explain the overall main lesson which is learned.

•    One other aspect to remember is the format of writing. Since this is a response to literature essay the response paragraph should be written in first person.No extra-large spaces should be used between the paragraphs.

English Grammar