location of relative clause

myestrojin

New Member
English - American
Which is correct: "The girl who won the race is my friend" or "The girl is my friend who won the race"?
Thank you
 
  • Agree with you except that they are different semantically. Essentially they have the same meaning.

    For the second sentence. I'm talking to friends at a track meet. I say, "A (another) friend of mine just won the 100 meter race."

    I then see her coming towards me, I point and say, "That girl's the one."

    So in the exchange, I'm prioritizing the concept "friend of mine."
    ===

    First sentence. I'm at the meet, as above. "Did you see that girl who won the race? ---She's my friend."
    ===

    Different meanings.

    Here's an analogy. I'm a primary teacher nursing a bite. My colleague sees me; I say, "The boy who bit my hand is my friend's son!"

    Compare, I say to a colleague, "My friend's son just bit me!" I point to the corner where he's hiding, "That's the boy!"
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Each of them identify the girl or friend by referring to something already known.

    If the other person knows who <won> the race but doesn't know whether the winner is your friend, say:
    [The girl who won the race] is my friend.
    If the other person already knows that your friend won the race but doesn't know who the girl is, say:
    The girl is [my friend who won the race].
    Of the two, the first seems the most likely to be said, but neither of them is incorrect.
     
    Last edited:

    myestrojin

    New Member
    English - American
    Thank you very much! So both are correct, it's just based on circumstances.
    What about this sentence: "China is a country from which Japan imports a lot of things" or "China, which Japan imports a lot of things, is a country...blah, blah, blah...
     

    myestrojin

    New Member
    English - American
    So you are saying both are correct, it's just based on context?
    "China is a country from which Japan imports a lot of things" can just be a general statement.
    While the other is context-based? For example, "Japan imports wagyu beef around the world among other things. China, which Japan imports a lot of things, is a country that holds resentment towards Japan".
    Just an example.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You are correct that this is a general statement. It contains a restrictive relative clause:
    China is a country from which Japan imports a lot of things.
    If you remove the relative clause, the sentence no longer means the same thing.
    China is a country.
    This sentence contains a non-restrictive relative clause.
    China, from which Japan imports a lot of things, is a country that holds resentment towards Japan.
    Even if you remove the relative clause, the main point of the sentence remains:
    China is a country that holds resentment towards Japan.
     
    Top