comma with 'which' [relative pronoun]: had a number of jobs, which

tigerduck

Senior Member
German / Switzerland
Hello

I am a little bit confused with the following relative clause. Is it an identifying relative clause and therfore no comma is needed or is it a non-identifying relative clause and thus a comma is required?

I have had a number of summer jobs(,) which have helped me to gain experience in secretarial skills.

Thanks.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The answer to your question depends on what you mean to say.

    I have had a number of summer jobs that have helped me to gain experience in secretarial skills.
    I have had lots of summer jobs.
    Some of them have helped me gain experience in secretarial skills.

    I have had a number of summer jobs, which have helped me to gain experience in secretarial skills.
    I have had a number of summer jobs.
    As a result, I have gained experience in secretarial skills.

    (WordReference dictionary entry for relative pronouns has links to other threads on this topic.)
     

    The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    Britain
    I agree, except that I would always write:

    "I have had a number of summer jobs, which has helped me to . . .", because the 'which' indicates is a non-defining clause, and thus connects to "my having" rather than to "summer jobs".
     

    Notquitegenius

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I agree, except that I would always write:

    "I have had a number of summer jobs, which has helped me to . . .", because the 'which' indicates is a non-defining clause, and thus connects to "my having" rather than to "summer jobs".
    I don't think it should be has here. "A number of" is not used as a singular grouping in english. You wouldn't say "A number of them is coming"," but "A number of them are coming."
     

    The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    Britain
    That's not what I was saying. It has nothing to do with the number.

    The sentence I suggested means:
    "The fact that I have had a number of summer jobs has helped me to . . . ", except that instead of The fact at the beginning, we are using which in the middle. All of his summer jobs have helped him gain skills.

    If we were talking about only some of his summer jobs helping him gain skills, it would be a defining clause, and would therefore take that and have rather than which.
     
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