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RELATIVE

CLAUSES

RELATIVE CLAUSES
Definition

A relative clause is a part of a sentence beginning with a


relative pronoun.
Examle:

A man phoned. The man is my brother.


The man who phoned is my brother.

Basic relative pronouns


The relative pronoun you use depends on the thing you're talking
about. Generally speaking, the most basic ones are these:
for people

who/that

for objects

which/that

for places

where

for reasons

why

for time
for possession

when
whose
3

WHERE

I live in a city. I study in the


city.
I live in the city where I
study.

WHERE / WHICH
The caf in Barcelona is still there. I
met my wife in that caf.
The caf in Barcelona where I met
my wife is still there.
OR
The caf in Barcelona in which I
met my wife is still there.

WHEN
The summer was long and hot. I
graduated from university in the
summer.
The summer (when) I graduated
from university was long and hot.

Whose
Whose is always the subject of the relative clause. It replaces a
possessive. It can be used for people and things.

The dog is over there. The dogs owner lives next


door.
The dog, whose owner lives next door,is over
there.
The little girl is sad. The little girls doll was lost.
The little girl, whose doll was lost, is sad.
The woman is coming tonight. Her car is a BMW.
The woman, whose car is a BMW, is coming
tonight.
The house belongs to me. Its roof is very old.
The house, whose roof is old, belongs to me.

WHOM
*It sounds very formal to most people. Therefore, it is hardly ever
used in spoken English.
I was talking to a boy. The boy is my cousin.
The boy to whom I was talking is my cousin
The boy that/who I was talking to is my cousin

Concept Check: Match a letter to a


number
A) The students, who all had
tickets, went into the museum.
B) The students who all had
tickets went into the museum.
1) Some of the students had tickets and some did
not. Only the students with tickets went into the
museum.
2) All the students had tickets and all the students
went into the museum.

A & 2: Non-defining
A) The students, who all had
tickets, went into the museum.
2) All the students had tickets and all the students
went into the museum.

B & 1: Defining
B) The students who all had
tickets went into the museum.
1) Some of the students had tickets and some did
not. Only the students with tickets went into the
museum.

Defining and Non-defining Relative


Clauses

NON-DEFINING

London is an interesting place to live.


London, which has a population of
around seven million, is an
interesting place to live.
The clause gives extra information(has a
population of around seven million), it
is between commas.

DEFINING
In this sentence;

The man was from Scotland.


We do not know which man is being talked about, we need a clause
telling us more about the subject;

The man who sold me the car was from


Scotland.
This clause tells us which man we mean, it has no commas. It is a
defining relative clause, and in this example we can use that
instead of who;

The man that sold me the car was from


Scotland.

NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES


The band have just released their
third album.
The band are starting a tour next
week.
The band , who are starting a
tour next week , have just
released their third album.

The lead singer lives with his


parents.
The lead singer is only eighteen.
The lead singer, who is only
eighteen, lives with his
parents.

Combine
the
with
Live
Earth was
thesentences
largest concert
in a
history. relative pronoun
It took place in July 2007.
Live Earth, which took place in July
2007, was the largest concert in history
The organizers were inspired by the Live
concert in 2005.
Their aim was to start a campaign against
climate change.
The organizers,whose aim was to start a
compaign against climate change, were
inspired by the Live concert in 2005.

Al Gore was one of the organizers of the


concert.
He used to be the Vice President of the USA.
Al Gore, who used to be the vice
president of the USA, was one of the
organizers of the concert.
In Wembley Arena the final performer was
Madonna.
The London concert took place in Wembley
Arena.
In Wembley Arena,where the London
concert took place, the final performer
was Madonna.

DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES


The people are very friendly.
The people live on the island.
The people who/that live on the island are very
friendly.
The camera is broken.
I bought the camera yesterday.
The camera that/which I bought yesterday is
broken.
The house is in London.
The house belongs to Julie.
The house which belongs to Julie is in London.

Subject and object pronouns


The use of who/which/that may depend on whether
the pronoun is the subject or the object of the
sentence. For example:
The man who spoke to me told me the story of his
life.
He spoke to me, so 'who' is the subject .
The man that I spoke to told me the story of his life.
I spoke to him, so 'I' is the subject.
When the pronoun is the object it can be left out:
The man I spoke to told me the story of his life.

What type of relative clause do the


rules refer to?
1. They give essential
information.
2. They give extra information.
3. We can omit which, who or
that if it is not the subject of
the clause.
4. We can use that instead of
which or who.

5. We cannot omit whose.


6. We use commas to
separate them from the
rest of the sentence.
7. We never omit the
relative pronoun.

Remember
Defining Relative
No commas
Omit the relative
pronoun except when
SUBJECT

Non-Defining
Relative
Between commas
No omission

Relative Pronouns
WHO: refers to people
WHICH: refers to things
WHOSE: for possession
WHEN: for time
WHERE : for places.
WHY: for reason

CHOOSE THE CORRECT RELATIVE


PRONOUN:
They are the children _____mother is
a famous singer.
The person ____ is staying next door
plays loud music in the mornings.
Thats the girl ______has just got a
recording contract.
This is the song _______I sang at the
karaokee tonight.

RELATIVE CLAUSES
Exercises (I)

1. Choose the most suitable word in each sentence.


a) My friend Jack, that/who/whose parents live in Glasgow,
invited me to spend Christmas in Scotland.
b) Heres the computer program that/who/whose I told
you about.
c) I dont believe the story that/who/whose she told us.
d) Peter comes from Witney, that/who/which is near
Oxford.
e) This is the gun with whose/who/which the murder
was commited.
f) Have you received the parcel that/who/which
we sent you?
g) Is this the person who/which/whose you asked me about?
h) Thats the girl that/who/whose brother sits next to me at
school.
i) The meal, that/which/whose wasnt very tasty, was quite
expensive.
j) We didnt enjoy the play that/who/whose we went to see.

Exercises (II)

1. Put a suitable relative pronoun in each space, or leave the


space blank wherever possible.
a) The person ..... fingerprints are on the gun was the person ......
killed Dr. Martin.
b) My bike, .....I have left at the gate, has disappeared.
c) The shoes .... I finally bought were the ones .... I tried on first.
d) The bag in .... the robbers put the money was found outside
the
bank.
e) The medicine ..... the doctor gave me had no effect at all.
f) Peter, ..... couldnt see the screen, decided to change his seat.
g) The present .... you gave me was the one .... I gave you last
year!.
h) I really liked the tea ..... you made me this morning.
i) What was the name of your friend .... tent we borrowed?.
j) He is the person .... I wrote to.