wrote a number of historical plays[, ]which are

AntiScam

Senior Member
Arabic
Hello,

My question is whether a comma is needed before which or not.


Shakespeare wrote a number of historical plays[, ]which are mainly about the kings of England.

I think a comma should be there and the which-clause is non-restrictive. We are giving extra info about those historical plays.
 
  • ELance

    Member
    English - American
    Is it the truth that he wrote a number of plays, or that he wrote a number of plays that are mainly about the kings of England? The words thereafter are to the meaning needful not when is in that line a comma.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]
    Shakespeare wrote a number of historical plays[, ]which are mainly about the kings of England.
    I think a comma should be there and the which-clause is non-restrictive. We are giving extra info about those historical plays.
    I agree that you want the comma. If I understand you correctly, you want to say that Shakespeare wrote a lot of historical plays, and the majority of them are about the kings of England.

    Without the comma, it means that Shakespeare wrote a lot of historical plays that focus on the kings of England. Without the comma, you are not omitting the historical plays Shakespeare wrote that are not about the kings. They would be described in a separate sentence.

    An aside: Is my understanding correct? Do you want to say that most -- but not all -- of Shakespeare's historical plays were about kings? If so, you might want to change the wording to something like: ....historical plays, most of which were about kings... Or, less awkwardly , ... historical plays, most of them about kings ....
     
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