Definition of restrictive in English:
- Evidence of greater activity at a roadside cross may be a result of restrictive cemetery policy.
- The restrictive Immigration Act of 1924 reflected the isolationism prevalent in America between the World Wars.
- The modular plan, the most restrictive, offers employees a limited number of fixed benefit sets.
- The problem is that few people have followed these rules systematically, and you can find lots of examples where the relative pronoun which is used to start a restrictive clause.
- The semantic distinction between restrictive and non-restrictive modification applies to adjectives that modify nouns as well as to relative clauses.
What is the difference between the books that were on the table once belonged to my aunt and the books, which were on the table, once belonged to my aunt? In the first sentence, the speaker uses the relative clause to pick out specific books (i.e., the ones on the table) in contrast with all others. In the second sentence, the location of the books referred to is unaffected by the relative clause: the speaker merely offers the additional information that the books happened to be on the table. This distinction is between restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses. In speech, the difference is usually expressed by a difference in intonation. In writing, a restrictive relative clause is not set off by commas, and that is the preferred subject or object of the clause, although many writers use which and who or whom for such clauses. A nonrestrictive clause is set off within commas, and which, who, or whom, not that, is the relative pronoun to use as the subject or object of the verb of the clause. Without a comma, the clause in please ask any member of the staff who will be pleased to help is restrictive and therefore implies contrast with another set of staff who will not be pleased to help. It is almost certain that the appropriate intention of such a clause would be nonrestrictive—therefore, a comma is needed before who ( . . . any member of the staff, who will be pleased . . .). For more details, see that (usage) and which.
- Example sentences
- The right to freedom of assembly is one of the foundations of a democratic society and should not be interpreted restrictively.
- A study of the next page of his judgment shows that he did not intend the expression to be interpreted quite so restrictively.
- She would have to let herself breathe, after three weeks of wearing a restrictively tight undershirt, giving her the appearance of a scrawny, underfed little boy.
- Example sentences
- Other researchers have measured the structural aspects of group homes, such as staff characteristics, staff effectiveness, restrictiveness, environmental factors, and cost-effectiveness.
- However, important features of parenting, such as restrictiveness or psychological control, coerciveness, autonomy granting, and warmth, are not addressed.
- The bill's opponents focused on its over-bearing restrictiveness which, they argued, would discourage marriage altogether, and prevent commoners from marrying into the aristocracy.
- British & World English dictionary
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