this nation <that is India> <, which is India>

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RomanPinsEveryone

Senior Member
Spanish, Chinese
" God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation that is India. "

This is a comment from an article about Indian traditional face painting.

I think the "this complex diversified nation" shouldn't have been modified with the Restrictive Clause, it should have been modified with the Nonrestrictive Clause.

So, I think it should have been " God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which is India. "


Am I right?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, you’re not right. The word “that” belongs to a particular idiomatic use (the something that is somewhere). For example: This proud country that is India.

    Here are some examples from published works:
    • On the other side of eternity, Eliot proposes, lies the significant soil that is England.
    • … concludes with the arrival of the flag, the symbol of the nation that is America.
    • … the so-called superpower that is America.
    • … that first, single step through thousands of years of history and across the vast territory that is China today.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    " God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation that is India. "

    This is a comment from an article about Indian traditional face painting.

    I think the "this complex diversified nation" shouldn't have been modified with the Restrictive Clause, it should have been modified with the Nonrestrictive Clause.

    So, I think it should have been " God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which is India. "


    Am I right?
    Consider this: a comma inevitably introduces a pause. Read the sentence aloud, and you'll see that there's a natural pause between "planet" and "so." By contrast, a pause between "nation" and "which" feels forced, as it breaks the rhythm of the sentence. There's also a semantic effect; with a nonrestrictive relative clause, the sentence may begin to sound as if you are talking about more than one nation (choosing "India" from them), whereas the restrictive clause makes it clear that you are only talking one nation ("India"). Of course, in the broader context of the entire article, this semantic effect may be irrelevant, but here we are just focusing on this one sentence.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ... please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which is India. "

    Am I right?
    You are wrong because it makes it sound as if the listener doesn't know the name of the country you are discussing.

    "...please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which is India." = "...please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which (by the way) is (called) India."
     
    Last edited:

    RomanPinsEveryone

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Chinese
    Thank you.

    Then how about this, "God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, that is India." ?

    I put a comma after "this complex diversified nation".
     

    RomanPinsEveryone

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Chinese
    No comma!!
    So "God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, that is India." means the same as " God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, which is India." ?
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you.

    Then how about this, "God has a reason for every existence on this planet , so please don't make mockery of any tribes or tradition in this complex diversified nation, that is India." ?

    I put a comma after "this complex diversified nation".
    "I would like to eat an apple that is sweet. (correct)
    "I would like to eat an apple, that is sweet. (incorrect)

    "I belong to the nation that is India." (correct)
    "I belong to the nation, that is India." (incorrect)
     

    RomanPinsEveryone

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Chinese
    "I would like to eat an apple that is sweet. (correct)
    "I would like to eat an apple, that is sweet. (incorrect)
    "I belong to the nation that is India." (correct)
    "I belong to the nation, that is India." (incorrect)
    Then I guess, "I would like to eat an apple which is sweet." and "I belong to the nation which is India." both are wrong ?

    If they are wrong, then I think I totally understand what you guys are trying to tell me. :)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That introduces a restrictive clause (one that can’t be omitted without altering the sense of the sentence as a whole), which preceded by a comma denotes a non-restrictive clause (one that can be omitted without affecting the meaning of the main clause).

    He handed me the book that I had lent him the day before.
    — ALL the words in red form the object of the sentence
    — those in bold form the restrictive clause, specifying which particular book is meant by “the book”

    He handed me the book, which [coincidentally] I had lent him the day before.
    — here the clause after the comma is non-restrictive (non-essential) and so can be omitted
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Then I guess, "I would like to eat an apple which is sweet." and "I belong to the nation which is India." both are wrong ?
    Your apple sentence is irrelevant. Please look again at post #2. It gives 5 examples (similar to the original quote) in which that – without a comma – is essential to the idiomatic construction in question.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Then I guess, "I would like to eat an apple which is sweet." and "I belong to the nation which is India." both are wrong ?

    If they are wrong, then I think I totally understand what you guys are trying to tell me. :)
    This is complicated by the fact that in American English a greater distinction is made between 'that' and 'which' than in British English. There are threads that deal with this distinction.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I just recalled non-restrictive clause can't be used with that.
    The original apple sentence Chasint provided seems smooth and fine, doesn't it?
    Yes it’s fine. But you’re getting sidetracked. This is not primarily about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, and the use of that or which — important though that is. You still don’t seem to have grasped the point that your phrase this complex diversified nation that is India is a perfect example of a very particular idiomatic usage (of a kind you’re likely to find in poetry, hymns, etc.).
     

    RomanPinsEveryone

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Chinese
    Yes it’s fine. But you’re getting sidetracked. This is not primarily about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, and the use of that or which — important though that is. You still don’t seem to have grasped the point that your phrase this complex diversified nation that is India is a perfect example of a very particular idiomatic usage (of a kind you’re likely to find in poetry, hymns, etc.).

    I think I got it, this particular idiomatic usage "......that is......" can't be changed to ".......which is......" because it's a particular idiomatic usage !

    It's like, the non-restrictive clause can't be used with that. It just CAN'T. It's grammar rules, and we can't change that.

    Right?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes. You have a number of examples there that should make clear how it works. It’s usually to do with patriotism, in one way or another.
     
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