RELATIVE CLAUSES

This is an English language lesson to practice use of Relative Clauses in sentences.

There are two types of Relative Clauses in English

Defining Relative Clause

Non-Defining Relative Clause

There are some important things to understand before examples are given of both types of sentences.

  1. What is punctuation – a comma, brackets, a full stop, exclamation mark etc
  2. What is a pronoun – personal, possessive and relative pronoun
  3. Difference between a subject and an object in a sentence
  4. Phrasal Verbs are two or more words (e.g. check out) – a verb and preposition
  5. Concept of what the relative clause does

ABOUT DEFINING  RELATIVE CLAUSE

  1. They never use commas
  2. The pronoun can be omitted when it is the object of the clause
  3. The pronoun can never be omitted when it is the subject of the clause
  4. It joins two simple sentences
  5. It begs an answer to the question – what or who are you talking about?

ABOUT NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSE

  1. They always use commas
  2. The pronoun can never be omitted for either the subject or the object
  3. It joins two simple sentences
  4. It provides additional information, so the sentence would still have meaning without that additional information

COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE 1

My neighbor drives an expensive car.  (present simple)

My neighbor has an expensive car.  (present simple)

My neighbor had a serious road accident last week  (past tense)

I have a neighbor WHO drives an expensive car  (defining relative clause)

I have a neighbor WHO had a serious road accident last week (defining relative clause)

I have a neighbor WHO drives an expensive car and WHO had a serious road accident last week (defining relative clause)

My neighbor, who drives an expensive car, had a serious road accident last week (non-defining relative clause)

COMPARATIVE EXAMPLE 2

SENTENCES FOR REFERENCE

I buy bread at the bakery.

I go to the bakery.

The bakery sells bread and cakes.

The bakery opens at eight o’clock.

The bakery is near my house.

Many different kinds of bread and cakes are sold at the bakery.

Bread and cakes are sold at the bakery.

SENTENCES AS A DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSE

The bakery is the place WHERE I buy bread.

I buy bread at the bakery WHICH is near my house.

I go to the bakery WHEN it opens at eight o’clock

I go to the bakery WHICH opens at eight o’clock

The reason WHY I go to the bakery is to buy bread.

To buy bread is the reason WHY I go to the bakery.

Bread and Cakes (THAT ARE) sold at the bakery are fresh and cheap.

SENTENCES AS A NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSE

The bakery, where I buy bread, opens at eight o’clock.

The bakery, where I buy bread, is near my house.

The bakery, which is near my house and which opens at eight o’clock, sells bread and cakes.

The bakery, which sells bread, is near my house.

The bakery, which is near my house, sells bread and cakes.

The place, where I buy bread, is called a bakery.

The place, at which I buy bread, is called a bakery.

SIMPLE EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  1. I live in Indonesia. It is very hot.

I live in Indonesia WHERE it is very hot.

  1. I saw a film. It was exciting.

I saw a film WHICH was exciting.

The film (which) I saw was exciting.

  1. She has a son. He is a doctor.

She has a son WHOSE a doctor.

  1. I sent a letter last week. It arrived yesterday.

I sent a letter last week WHICH arrived yesterday.

The letter (WHICH) I sent last week arrived yesterday

  1. I remember a long time ago. I was very young.

I remember a long time ago WHEN I was very young.

  1. I ride a motor cycle. It is new.

I ride a motor cycle (WHICH) is new.

The motor cycle I ride is new

  1. I have a new dog. Its name is Benjo.

I have a new dog whose WHOSE name is Benjo.

The new dog I have is named Benjo.

  1. I go to school. I study and learn there.

I go to school to study and learn.

School is the place WHERE I go to study and learn.

 

WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

  1. The food dish I ordered

The food dish THAT I ordered was delicious

  1. The book I bought

The book THAT I bought at the store

  1. The film I saw last week

The film WHICH I saw last week was terrible

  1. The reason I came today

The reason WHY I came today was to see you

  1. The woman who lives next door

The woman WHO lives next door has three children

  1. Children who do not like ice cream

Children WHO do not like ice cream are rare

  1. The dog that bit my hand

The dog THAT bit my hand was big and strong

  1. The doctor I was hoping to see

The doctor WHO I was hoping to see today was not on duty

  1. Somewhere where it’s sunny.

Let’s go somewhere where it’s sunny

  1. An animal that lives in the jungle

An elephant is an animal THAT lives in the jungle

  1. The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun is the title of a James Bond film

  1. The person I met

The person WHO I met today was really friendly and helpful.

  1. The old house

That is the old house WHERE my grandparents lived a century ago.

  1. The famous painting

Mona Lisa is the famous painting WHICH Leonardo di Vinci painted

  1. The seat

That is the seat at the Tah Mahal WHERE Lady Diana sat twenty four years ago.

  1. The first time

December 1963 was the first time WHEN I came to this country

  1. Things we need

Clothes are the things we need WHEN we get dressed

  1. Hunger

I feel hunger WHEN I do not eat

  1. The trip I went on

I want to tell you about the trip WHICH I went on

  1. Secretary

I’m looking for a secretary who types well

 

WHERE RELATIVE PRONOUN IS THE OBJECT

She loves the chocolate THAT I bought.

We stayed at the Hotel THAT Jim recommended.

John met an old friend WHO he had  not seen for a long time.

The police arrested a man WHO was behaviously suspiciously.

The bike THAT I loved was stolen.

The university WHICH I attend is perfect.

The woman WHO my brother loves is German.

NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES

  1. Bens Mother, WHO lives in Canada, has six grandchildren
  2. My Grandmother, WHO I remember fondly, came from Liverpool.
  3. We made a stop over in Paris, WHICH is a city we had never visited before.
  4. I have just arrived back from Berlin, WHERE I went for a long weekend.
  5. Yesterday I met a woman, WHOSE husband is a famous actor.
  6. He gave me the letter, WHICH was in a blue envelope.
  7. I live in London, WHICH has a lot of fascinating museums.
  8. He gave me the letter, WHICH I read immediately.
  9. Chris scored a goal in the match, WHICH was really surprising
  10. He had a lot of books, MOST OF WHICH were old.
  11. There were many people at the party, MANY OF WHOM I knew.
  12. There were many people at the party, NONE OF WHOM I knew.
  13. Stratford upon Avon, ABOUT WHICH much is written, is Shakespeares birthplace.
  14. The electronic whiteboard, WHICH is increasingly used in classrooms, makes teaching easier
  15. The bakery, WHERE I buy bread every day, was closed today.
  16. My neighbor, who has an expensive car, had a serious road accident last week.

 

FINAL NOTE

All of the defining and non-defining sentences written in this lesson should be used for writing and speaking practice.

 

 

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