Quick Start Guide: Restrictive and Non-restrictive Qualifiers


Welcome to the Learning Commons Quick Start Guide to Restrictive and Non-restrictive Qualifiers!

Often when writing, we need to add further clarification about a noun beyond simply using the noun itself. This qualifying information can either provide new information about the noun or cause the noun to refer to a more specific person, place, or thing. Although they appear similar, these two types of qualifiers need to be treated differently in order to reduce confusion.

This guide will explain:

  • The difference between restrictive and non-restrictive qualifiers
  • How to punctuate them
Course Information

Course Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: <10 mins

Perfect for: Students in WRTG100/101, ENGL103, or anyone who needs a refresher.

Guide Creator: Abby Pernsteiner

Qualifiers 101

This video introduces important information about restrictive and non-restrictive qualifiers:

  • What a restrictive modifier is
  • What a non-restrictive modifier is
  • How to punctuate them.

In this mini-course we explore this in more detail:

  1. What’s the Difference?
  2. Which, That, and Who
  3. Punctuating Qualifiers
  4. Wrap-Up