You are on page 1of 2

Defining Relative Clauses Defining relative clauses (also called identifying relative clauses or restrictive relative clauses) give

detailed information defining a general term or expression. Defining relative clauses are not put in commas. Imagine, Tom is in a room with five girls. One girl is talking to Tom and you ask somebody whether he knows this girl. Here the relative clause defines which of the five girls you mean. Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom? Defining relative clauses are often used in definitions. A seaman is someone who works on a ship. Object pronouns in defining relative clauses can be dropped. (Sentences with a relative clause without the relative pronoun are called Contact Clauses.) The boy (who/whom) we met yesterday is very nice. Non-Defining Relative Clauses Non-defining relative clauses (also called non-identifying relative clauses or non-restrictive relative clauses) give additional information on something, but do not define it. Non-defining relative clauses are put in commas. Imagine, Tom is in a room with only one girl. The two are talking to each other and you ask somebody whether he knows this girl. Here the relative clause is non-defining because in this situation it is obvious which girl you mean. Do you know the girl, who is talking to Tom? Note: In non-defining relative clauses, who/which may not be replaced with that. Object pronouns in non-defining relative clauses must be used. Jim, who/whom we met yesterday, is very nice. How to Shorten Relative Clauses? Relative clauses with who, which, that as subject pronoun can be replaced with a participle. This makes the sentence shorter and easier to understand. I told you about the woman who lives next door. – I told you about the woman living next door. Do you see the cat which is lying on the roof? – Do you see the cat lying on the roof? SAN FRANCISCO The area had long been inhabited by native Americans, the Ohlone (meaning “people of the west”) before the first Spanish immigrants came to settle in this part of the country. After the Mexican-American War, the small town became American territory, and when the California gold rush started in 1848, the population increased enormously. Nowadays San Francisco is famous especially for its cable car and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge The Golden Gate Bridge connects the city of San Francisco and San Francisco Peninsula. It spans the Golden Gate, a strait between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay–that’s where the name Golden Gate Bridge comes from. Construction on the bridge began in 1933 and was completed in 1937. The bridge rises 230 m above the water. With its total length of 1970 meters it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. The bridge is part of the United States Highway 101, has six lanes and a footpath on each side. Relative Clauses Relative clauses are formed with »who« or »that« gebildet. We use »who« for people and »that« for animals, things or events. Exercise Read the text again and complete the sentences according to the text. 1. San Francisco was inhabited by the Ohlone _____________________________________________________________

My friend Jane whose husband is Canadian moved to Canada last week. I have one sister. We are on holiday. came to see me last month. Tamara has two cats. Two of them are black. is a famous inventor. who is a musician. Mr Robinson is very famous. St. 2. which I bought yesterday. are very comfortable. 8. My brother. Mary's Church which we visited yesterday is very old. 4. St. Both of them are black. 3. 6. whom I met at the trade fair. whose husband is Canadian. Tamara's two cats which can play outside are black. which are black. The church. My brother who lives in Sidney came to see me last month. 4. which we visited yesterday. The shoes which I bought yesterday are very comfortable. can play outside. is very old. 3. Kevin's two cats. Mr Robinson whom I met at the trade fair is a famous inventor. 10. In the 19th century there were many people in San Francisco _______________________________________________ There is a bridge ___________________________________________________________________________________ The bridge is used by people _________________________________________________________________________ There is a strait called Golden Gate ____________________________________________________________________ Relative clauses . who lives in Sidney. is very old . 5. I have three brothers. 9. I am a shoe fanatic. Yesterday we visited a church. defining – no commas non-defining – commas 1. spent her holiday in France. My friend Jane moved to Canada. My sister who is 25 years old spent her holiday in France. Yesterday we visited a church. Mary's Church. We are on holiday. are black. Bob's mum who is a musician has lost her car keys. My sister. The church which we visited yesterday is very old. The shoes. moved to Canada last week. which we visited yesterday. has lost her car keys. Bob's mum. Bob's mum has lost her keys.2. Kevin has four cats.defining or non-defining? Study the situations and then decide whether the following relative clauses are defining or non-defining. which can play outside. Kevin's two cats which are black can play outside. 5. Mr Robinson. Tamara's two cats. 7. who is 25 years old. My friend Jane.