from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Not restrictive: nonrestrictive zoning.
- adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a subordinate clause or phrase that describes but does not identify or restrict the meaning of the noun, phrase, or clause it modifies, as the clause who live in a small condo in the sentence The Smiths, who live in a small condo, have 11 cats.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. not restrictive; not imposing restrictions
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. not limiting the reference of a modified word or phrase
Sorry, no etymologies found.
You use which in nonrestrictive clauses, and if you eliminate a nonrestrictive clause, the meaning of the remaining part of the sentence will be the same as it was before.
At the same time, the instruction to put a comma before a nonrestrictive clause is not unique to Strunk & White but can be found in many writing texts.
If it were about any subject other than the “On Language” column, the press release would be unremarkable for failing to use a comma in its second sentence before the nonrestrictive relative clause “who was the founding and regular columnist until his death last fall.”
The first three lines encourage us to read without pausing but the forced pause created by the quotation marks around "genial" allow us to catch our breath before moving on through the next two lines and arriving at the inserted nonrestrictive "in my youth."
Heffner argued that there was too big a gap between PG and R and the studios were constantly trying to get more and more “adult material” into the “nonrestrictive” lower rating because it meant greater profit potential for them, and Heffner correctly foresaw that someday this would come back to bite them.
A nonrestrictive clause is something that can be left off without changing the meaning of the sentence.
You can think of a nonrestrictive clause as simply additional information.
Reid noted that the phrase "when approaching from any direction" is a nonrestrictive modifier and can be removed from the sentence.
But she goes into some detail about restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clauses, and how something as small as a single comma can significantly change meaning, and have broad-reaching repercussions.
Again, I will testify that when Chinese university students are placed in a stress-free, nonrestrictive learning environment, they true colors appear, and these simple presentations are proof.