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RELATIVE CLAUSES

A relative clause is a subordinate clause introduced by a relative pronoun or adverb, which gives us
information about a noun ( person , thing animal , a place) , which is the antecedent of the relative pronoun.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS: WHO /WHOSE / WHOM / WHICH /THAT

subject of the verb object of the verb possession


(can't be omitted) (can be omitted) (can't be omitted)
PEOPLE WHO / THAT (WHO / WHOM /THAT) WHOSE
She is the teacher This is the man (who / That's the boy whose
who/that came to our whom /that) we saw last brother won the prize.
school last week. Monday.
THINGS WHICH / THAT (WHICH / THAT) WHOSE
ANIMALS This is the house which / Here's the bag (which / That's the bag whose
that belongs to my friend. that ) you left on my desk. handle is broken.

RELATIVE ADVERBS: WHEN / WHERE / WHY (can’t be


omitted)

TIME WHEN (= in/on which) That was the summer when it rained
everyday
PLACE WHERE (= in which ) That' s the ho tel where we stayed.
REASON WHY (= for which) Can you tell me the reason why he lied to
me?

A - DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES


A Defining Relative Clause gives necessary information and is essential to the meaning of the main
sentence. The clause is not put in commas.
Ex : The man who came to the party in a black suit is from Britain.
I read the article about teenagers' part-time jobs which was published in the Guardian

 The relative pronouns ( who, which ,that) can be omitted when it is the object of the verb of the
relative clause:
Ex: The man (who / whom) you spoke to is my boss.
This is the factory (which) he left last week.
However, if the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb of the relative clause cannot be omitted.
Ex: The girl who was dancing with me is Tom’s girlfriend.

B - NON -DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES


 A non- defining Relative Clause gives extra information and is not essential to the meaning of the main
sentence. It just adds
some more information. It can be removed from the sentence without altering the main meaning.
 The relative clause is put in commas.
Ex: David Beckan, who played for Real Madrid, is from Britain.
The Buckingham Palace, where the queen Elisabeth II lives, is next to Hyde Park
 In non-defining relative clauses, the relative pronouns cannot be omitted.
 “THAT” cannot be used instead of WHO or WHICH.

C- PREPOSITIONS WITH RELATIVES ( WHOM / WHICH)


We usually avoid using prepositions before relative pronouns. They are only used in very formal English.
Ex: The man to whom we talked at the party is a famous Greek actor (formal English)
The man (who) we talked to at the party is a famous Greek actor.