Hi,

I would like to know whether the sentences written below are correct.

  1. A boy, who is wearing a cap, is reading a book.
  2. The boy, who is wearing a cap, is reading a book.

  3. A boy, who wears a cap, is reading a book.

  4. The boy, who wears a cap, is reading a book.

  5. A boy, wearing a cap, is reading a book.

  6. The boy, wearing a cap, is reading a book.

Another question is, is it necessary to use commas to set off the clauses?

Looking forward to your response. Thank you.

3 Answers

3votes

agniecha 2240

Since we are talking not about just any boy but about a particular boy you should use "the". Furthermore the boy is wearing a cap at the moment, not all the time, that's why you use Present Continuous tense.

This way, sentence 2 "The boy, who is wearing a cap, is reading a book." is correct. However, sentence 6 "The boy, wearing a cap, is reading a book" is also correct. You can omit the relative pronoun when it refers to the object of the sentence. You will do so especially in spoken English.

As far as commas go, you put them when the relative clause is nonrestrictive. In other words if a sentence is perfectly understandable without the relative clause and it only adds some extra information you use commas. Therefore in this case you will use commas since "The boy is reading a book" would be understandable.

commented

Thanks, agniecha for your clear and helpful explanation. But I would to know whether sentence 3 - "The boy, who wears a cap, is reading a book." is acceptable. Thanks again.

2votes

agniecha 2240

Sentence 3 "The boy, who wears a cap, is reading a book" would be correct in one case. You use Present Simple for repeated actions, habits, etc. So, if the boy wears a cap all the time, then the sentence is correct. However, this is rather unlikely and I assume that the boy is wearing a cap at the moment. So in short words, if the cap is something characteristic for the boy and he has the habit of wearing it, then the sentence is correct, in any other case it is not. Hope it helps.

commented

Thanks a lot! It is as clear as day! :)

1vote

The boy, who wears a cap, is reading a book.

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