R el ative Clauses1. Relative pronouns and adverbs2. Omission of relative pronouns3. Defining and Non-defining clauses
1. Relative pronouns and adverbsSometimes, when talking aboutpeople or things it could benecessary to add moreinformation. It is when we use aRELATIVE CLAUSE:
That is the house. The house house was built on the main road.That is the house which was built on the main road. which = the houseThe woman lives across the road. The woman is a professor. The woman who lives across the road is a professor. who = the woman
Relative clauses always follow thename they refer to (its antecedent).The most frequent relative pronounsare: who / whom people which objects where places and spatial references when temporal references that people / objects
whom is used in formal speech and it isonly used when it refers to the direct object ofthe main clause:- This is the boy about whom you were asking me. whose expresses possession and cannotbe omitted:- Whose book is this? (NEVER “Of who…?”)- The children whose books you are using aremy pupils.
whom and which are used afterprepositions but in colloquial English wecan omit the relative pronoun and placethe preposition in a final position:- This is the boy about whom you wereasking me.- This is the boy (who) you were askingme about.- I like the car about which you wereasking me about.- I like the car (which) you were talkingabout.
There are other relative connectors that are not pronouns but adverbs, such as: where The house where I was born. when I remember the time when we lived there. why The reason why he is so sad is a mystery to us.
2. Omission of relative pronouns Relative pronouns cannot be omitted if they are the subjects of the clauses: - The man who visited us yesterday is a famous professor. We can omit the relative pronoun if it is not the subject of the clause: - The house (which/that) we bought is very big.
T A K E NOT E ! Relative pron. + verb OmissionRelative pron. + subject Omission
3. Defining and Non-defining clauses The computer is very expensive. The computer which we bought is very expensive.
Those relative clauses that are NECESSARY to understand the meaning of a sentence are calledDEFINING CLAUSES (especificativas) That’s the actor. That’s the actor who plays Hamlet.
The Queen of England, who lives in London, is called Elizabeth II. Those relative clauses that areNOT NECESSARY to understand the meaning of a sentence arecalled NON-DEFINING CLAUSES (explicativas)
Non-defining clauses: clauses 2. are separated bycommas 3. never use “that” 4. never omit the relativepronoun 5. are used in writing orformal speech (so are lesscommon)
Analyse these sentences:Non-defining:My uncle, who is a doctor, livesin Madrid. Mi tio, que (por cierto) es medico, vive en Madrid.Defining:My uncle who is a doctor lives in Madrid. Mi tio (de entre todos) el que es medico, vive en Madrid