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October 7, 1992

Grammar School: Teat Found for Motherless Clause?-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry

JAMA. 1992;268(13):1685-1686. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490130073030

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In Reply.  —I have a friend whose father, an English teacher, once stopped his motorcycle in the middle of the Mojave Desert, unhitched the sidecar, and drove off, stranding a fellow teacher with whom he was arguing (heatedly, no doubt) a point of grammar. Dr Gitlitz, who admits "lack of reverence for [his] elders" and accuses me of "leading innocents astray," generates so much heat (and so little light) in his letter that I'm half afraid to try to set him straight.Take these two sentences: (1) Dr Gitlitz is not the only one who makes that mistake. (2) Dr Gitlitz is one of many who make that mistake. In each sentence, there is a main (independent or principal) clause and a subordinate (dependent, modifying, or qualifying) clause. In both sentences, the subject of the main clause is Dr Gitlitz and the subject of the subordinate clause is who. In