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comma after "which" Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:07:11 AM
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Four wills were let behind by Mr Sia when he died on March 24, 2016. Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will that was done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.

1. Shouldn't there be a comma after 'will'?
2. Shouldn't 'that' be replaced by 'which?

Thanks.
Pandion haliaetus
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:20:16 AM

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Location: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Kamtsjatka, Russia
Koh Elaine wrote:

Four wills were let behind by Mr Sia when he died on March 24, 2016. Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will that was done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.

1. Shouldn't there be a comma after 'will'?
2. Shouldn't 'that' be replaced by 'which?

Thanks.


Hi, Koh Elaine,

1.) Since this is the defining relative clause (otherwise called the attributive restrictive relative clause), nothing is allowed to sever the antecedent the second will from its clause that was done in 2012, which is essential to and inseparable from its antecedent.

2.) I didn't quite understand your second question. Why (and what for) should it (the relative pronoun that) be replaced? It's right at its place, I think. What concerns the next clause beginning with in which, to my opinion, it is the same as the one before: the defining clause. The choice of which is stipulated by the peculiarity of that, which has no possessive case, and can't take a preposition before it: we can try saying "the second will that he is the major beneficiary in", but it sounds ugly, if not to mention impossible.
Hence it follows that in the sentence there are two attributive restrictive clauses both belonging to the same antecedent the second will - a kind of enumeration, if I may say so. That's why they must be separated from each other, but no any other commaing is necessary. However, I'd say it this way: the second will of which he is the major beneficiary.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 7:44:06 AM

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Hello Koh Elaine.

Without knowing more of the story, it is impossible to say which is right.

1. Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will that was done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.
or Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will which was done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.
or Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.
The that/which is your choice - as it is a defining clause, 'that' and 'which' and "--" are all correct and mean the same. This sentence means that there were two wills written in 2012. Mr Yong is claiming to be the beneficiary and executor of the second 2012 will.
(This is how Pandion Haliaetus understands the sentence.)

Mr Yong claimed he was the rightful executor of the second will, which was done in 2012, in which he is the major beneficiary.
There was only one will written in 2012 - it was the second one of the four wills.
In this one, the exact will is defined by "the second will", so "which was done in 2012" is a non-restrictive clause. As a non-restrictive clause, the relative pronoun has to be 'which' - it cannot be 'that'.
Pandion haliaetus
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:00:55 AM

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Aha! Much thanks for clarification, DragOnspeaker.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:06:25 AM

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You're welcome.

Isn't it true that the "LAST will and testament" is the one which is followed?
If there were four wills, and this one was the second, it is invalid, surely. The fourth one would be the one to use.

Mr Sia changed his mind twice after 2012.
Koh Elaine
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:18:31 AM
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Thanks, DragOnspeaker.
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 11:07:24 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Isn't it true that the "LAST will and testament" is the one which is followed?
If there were four wills, and this one was the second, it is invalid, surely. The fourth one would be the one to use.


That would be true here. Elsewhere, perhaps …?
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