They arrived at the venue, which has an outdoor pool area...''the relative clause''

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kansi

Senior Member
japanese
What's the difference between these sentenses in meaning and in sense or nuance?

1.They arrived at the venue, which has an outdoor pool area, at about 3.30pm.
2.They arrived at the venue which has an outdoor pool area, at about 3.30pm.
3.They arrived at a venue, which has an outdoor pool area, at about 3.30pm.
4.They arrived at a venue which has an outdoor pool area, at about 3.30pm.

I guess only #1 mean different from the others but the rest means the same?

Do the sentenses #2,#3 and #4 maen the same but have different senses or nuances?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Only (1) is correct.

    The use of the present tense "has" means that the venue still does have an outdoor pool area. This is fine when a specific venue is mentioned (even if it is not named), but does not work with the indefinite article, so sentence (3) needs "had". Sentence (3) means that the venue is of no significance in itself (which does make mentioning the pool area a little odd), and only really makes sense in a context that involved many venues.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    It's normal practice in written English, that non-defining relative clauses are set off by commas, while defining relative clauses are not.

    So, in your examples 2 and 4, "the venue which has an outdoor pool area" is distinguished from other venues which do not have an outdoor pool area.

    In your 1 and 3, you are simply giving a bit of additional information about the venue they arrived at - it has an outdoor pool area.

    (It sometimes helps if you think of a "non-defining clause" as a "describing clause")


    EDIT --

    I don't agree with Uncle Jack's opinion on 'has' but, of course, context is king.
    If I were reading this in a novel I would expect 'had' in all four examples. I would regard 'has' as an error.
    But if this were about my friends' vacation last week, it would be safe to assume that the venue still has the outdoor pool area (in all four sentences).
     
    Last edited:

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    it's normal practice in written English, that non-defining relative clauses are set off by commas, while defining relative clauses are not.

    So, in your examples 2 and 4, "the venue which has an outdoor pool area" is distinguished from other venues which do not have an outdoor pool area.

    In your 1 and 3, you are simply giving a bit of additional information about the area you arrived at - it has such an area.


    EDIT --

    I don't agree with Uncle Jack's opinion on 'has' but, of course, context is king.
    If I were reading this in a novel I would expect 'had' in all four examples. I would regard 'has' as an error.
    But if this were about my friends' vacation last week, it would be safe to assume that the venue still has the outdoor pool area (in all four sentences).
    thank you!

    I understand all of your explanation including your edited area.

    But what I still don't understand is the difference between #2 and #4.

    While that "the" in #1 indicates "we talked about the venue before", that "the" in #2 doesn't indicates the same thing but that "the" is there because of the restrictive(?) relative pronoun.

    So only the difference I could think of between #2 and #4 is #2 indicates that while there is only one venue of such (in the world?but of cource not..so in a certain area?!), #4 indicates 50/50 % possiblity that there are multiple venue of such or there are only one of such and that it hasn't been stated yet.

    Is this correct?

    Then also don't understand the difference between #3 and #4.I can't guess any difference here.

    Edit:
    #3 and #4 mean just same, I guess? But it's just different way of saying it.#3 sounds more interesting or intrigue (?) because it sounds like almost same to "They arrived at some specific venue,.." ,while #4 sounds just news in a tv programme.
     
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