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1. Subject and Object
Relative clauses give extra information about a noun
in the main clause. They can refer to this as subject or
“That’s the woman who bought my car” Subject

“That’s the flat that I was looking for”

2. Combining sentences
Note how sentences are combined.
Subject :
“This is Sofia. She bought my car”
“Sofia is the person who bought my car”
Object :
“That is the flat. I was looking for it”
“That is the flat that I was looking for”

1. Defining Clauses
Defining clauses tell us which person or thing, or which
kind of person or thing, is meant.
“ Paris is a city I’ve always wanted to visit”

2. Non-Defining Clauses
Non-defining clauses add extra information,
separated by commas in writing, and intonation
in speaking.
“ Tom’s mother, who is 78, goes swimming
every day”
Omitting the relative pronoun
1. Object Clauses
The relative pronoun can be left out in object clauses in

both speaking and writing if they are defining.
“ That‘s the flat I was looking for”

2. Non-Defining Clauses
The relative pronoun cannot be left out in a
non-defining clause.
“ I poured him a glass of wine, which he drank
at once”
Which, Who and That

1. That instead of which
That is often used instead of which in speech.
“ Is this the house that you bought?”
2. That instead of who
That can also refer to people in everyday speech.
“ Have you met the boy that Sue is going to marry?”
3. Which in non-defining clauses
That cannot be used to introduce a non-defining clause.
“ The hotel, which was a hundred years old, was very
4. Prepositions
That cannot be used after a preposition.
“ This is the car (that/which) I paid £ 2000”
(everyday speech)
“ This is the car for which I paid £ 2000”
Whose and Whom

1. Whose means of whom and usually refers
to people.
“ This is Jack. His sister is staying with us.”
“ This is Jack whose sister is staying with us.”

2. Whom is the object for of who, and has to
be used after prepositions.
“ This is the person I sold my car to”
(everyday speech)
“ This is the person to whom I sold my car.”
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) Here’s the computer program that/whom/whose I told
you about.
c) I don’t believe the story that/who/whom she told us.
d) Peter comes from Witney, that/who/which is near
e) This is the gum with that/whom/which the murder
was commited.
f) Have you received the parcel that/whom/which
we sent you?
g) Is this the person who/which/whose you asked me about?
h) That’s the girl that/who/whose brother sits next to me at
i) The meal, that/which/whose wasn’t very tasty, was quite
j) We didn’t 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
e) The medicine ..... the doctor gave me had no effect at all.
f) Peter, ..... couldn’t 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.