A relative clause gives us information about
which particular person or
thing the speaker is referring to.
Relative Pronouns: who(m), which, whose, that introduce relative clauses.
The girl who works in the bakery is my cousin.
(The Relative clause tells us which girl we are talking about.)
A kangaroo is an animal which lives in Australia.
We use WHO/ THAT to refer to people
The lady who/ that lives next door has a lot of pets.
The boy who/ that I met at Lucy’s party was very handsome.
A doctor is a person who/ that treats sick people.
Charles Dickens is the man who/ that wrote Oliver Twist.
We use Which/ That to refer to things, objects or animals
A book is something which/ that people read.
Have you finished the book which/ that I gave you last week.
The food which/ that was served last week was delicious.
A flamingo is a bird which/ that lives in a warm climate.
We use whose instead of using possessive adjectives
(my, your, his, etc.)
with people, objects and animals in order to show possession
That’s the man. His car was stolen.
That’s the man whose car was stolen.
That’s the woman whose house caught fire yesterday.
The woman is very happy. Her son got the highest grade in
the university exam.
The woman whose son got the highest grade in the university exam is happy.
RELATIVE PRONOUNS AS SUBJECT AND OBJECT
We don’t omit the relative pronoun when it is the subject
pronoun of the relative clause, that is when there is not a noun
or subject pronoun between the relative pronoun and the verb
I met a girl. She is from Japan.
I met a girl who/ that is from Japan.
(The relative pronoun is the subject and there isn’t a pronoun or noun between
the relative pronoun and ‘is’.)
The dog – it ran away – is mine.
The dog which/ that ran away is mine.
Have you spoken to the man? He sent you flowers
Have you spoken to the man who/ that sent you flowers.
We can omit the relatıve pronoun when it is the object of the relative clause,
that is when there is a noun or a subject pronoun between the relative
pronoun and the verb.
That’s the hat. I bought it last week.
That’s the hat(which/ that) I bought last week
(The relative pronoun is the object, there is the subject pronoun between the
relative pronoun and the verb.)
Have you replied to all the letters (which/ that) you received.
What is the name of the man (who/ that) I saw you with yesterday.
Position of prepositions in relative
*Do you know the woman (who/that)Tom is
*The bed (that/which) I slept in last night
wasn’t very comfortable.
*The books (that/which) you were looking for
were on the table.
*I enjoy my job. I like the people I work with
Where, when, why are relative adverbs and can introduce relative clauses.
Where is used to refer to place, usually after nouns like
Town, hotel, street, country, etc. It can be replaced by
which/ that+preposition. In this case,
which/ that can be omitted.
The hotel where we stayed was fantastic.
The hotel which/ that I stayed at was fantastic.
I always lock the drawer where I keep my jewellery.
A cemetery is a place where dead people are buried.
When is used to refer to time, usually after the nouns like
time, period, day, moment, summer, etc.
I remember the day when my son was born.
I will never forget the day when I first met him.
I will always remember the day when I graduated.
Why is used to give reason, usually after the word reason.
The reason why I can’t meet you tonight is that I am working overtime.
He had a fight with his best friend, that’s why he is very sad.
She has to go to the dentist tomorrow, that’s why she has asked me
to go to her house.
The reason why she is unhappy that she broke up with her boyfriend.
Fill in the blank with the correct relative pronouns or adverbs.
1) You lost my favourite jacket. That’s the reason ……….I’m angry with you.
2) That is the place …………Tom bought his car.
3) Kate often thinks of the time …………she met her favourite actor.
4) The little corner shop ………I used to buy my groceries is now
a huge supermarket.
5) Is that the couple …………house was destroyed by fire yesterday.
6) This is the necklace ………..I got for my birthday.
7) Sheila is the woman ………….mother works in the flower shop.
8) I am writing a letter to my aunt ………..lives in Australia.
9) The bicycle ………..I was riding belongs to my brother.
10) Is this the puppy ………….you bought from the pet shop?
11) Rachel didn’t explain the reason ………she didn’t attend the meeting.
12) Do you remember the time ………we got lost in the mountains?
9. and 10.(that/which)
There are two kinds of Relative Clauses :
Defining & Non-Defining Relative Clauses
A Defining Relative Clause gives
necessary information and it is
essential to the meaning of the main
Sentence. The relative pronouns can
be omitted when they are objects of the
e.g People are fined. (which people?
We don’t know. The meaning of the
sentence isn’t clear.)
People who/ that park illegally are fined.
The film was boring. (Which film? We
don’t know. The meaning isn’t clear.)
The film which/ that I watched yesterday
A Non-defining relative Clause gives
extra information and is not essential
To the meaning of the main sentence.
In non-defining relative clauses, the
relative pronouns can not be omitted
and can’t be replaced by that.
The relative clause needs commas.
e.g. The Jeffersons live next door.
(The meaning of the sentence is clear.)
The Jeffersons ,who own a Jaguar,
live next door.
My cat is called Monty.
(The meaning is clear)
My cat, which I found on the street,
is called Monty.
(The relative clause gives extra info.)