The relative pronoun whose works the same way as who; in other words, whose is sometimes used with two commas and sometimes with none. It all depends upon whether or not the embedded clause is needed to make sense of the subject of the main clause.

In the previous exercise, you worked only with the embedding word who. Now you’ll begin to analyze sentences that have been made with who, whose, which, and that.

Exercise 3.3

Draw a wavy line below the embedded clause in each sentence and write s over the subject of the main clause. Then make your decision to insert either two commas or none. (Remember to think about how important the embedded information is in relation to the subject of the main clause—not in relation to the whole sentence.)

1. A person who was born under the sign of Taurus is supposedly stubborn and independent.

2. The person who founded Vassar College was a brewer. (It was Matthew Vassar.)

3. The U.S. Senate which has been called “the most exclusive club in the world” is never open to more than 100 members.

4. The grape that makes California’s most successful white wine is the Chardonnay.

5. The abbreviation lb. which means pound comes from the Latin word libra, meaning “scales.”

Exercise 3.4

Here are five pairs of sentences about figures in the history of popular music. Take each pair and embed the (b) sentence into the (a) sentence. (You learned to do this in Chapter 2.) After you have combined the sentences by embedding, decide whether to add two commas or none. You will choose from the relative pronouns who, whose, which, and that.

1. (a) Chubby Checker worked as a chicken plucker in a poultry shop before he became famous for doing “The Twist.”

(b) His real name was Ernest Evans.




2. (a) Neil Sedaka made a comeback in the 1970s with the help of Elton John.

(b) He had enjoyed a great deal of success as a song-writer and singer in the 1950s.




3. (a) Critic Jon Landau is responsible for the line “I saw rock ’n’ roll’s future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

(b) He wrote a rave review after seeing “the Boss” in concert in 1974.




4. (a) Annie Mae Bullock changed her name to Tina Turner.

(b) She married Ike Turner in 1958.




5. (a) The heart attack occurred while the famous soul singer was performing on stage in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on September 25, 1975.

(b) It left Jackie Wilson in a coma for the rest of his life.