There are two main kinds of relative clauses:
Non-defining clauses: give extra information about the
noun, but they are not essential:
The desk in the corner, which is covered in books, is mine.
(We don't need this information in order to understand the sentence. "The desk in the corner is
mine" is a good sentence on its own -- we still know which desk is referred to. Note that non-
defining clauses are usually separated by commas, and that is not usually used in this kind of
Defining clauses: give essential information about the
The package that arrived this morning is on the desk.
Using Relative Pronouns
In each sentence, choose the correct relative pronoun to introduce the adjective clause.
1 The cougar is a member of the cat family ______ grows to around 8 feet in length.
who which whom that
2 The cougar lives in deserts, forests, plains and mountains, but according to scientists
________ have studied the animal, it is becoming endangered in some areas.
who which whom whose
3 The cougar has powerful legs, ________ it uses to climb and to jump into trees.
who which whom whose
4 Cougars sometimes prey on sheep and goats, so they may be killed by the farmers
________ animals they attack.
who which whom whose
5 However, cougars very rarely attack humans, of ________ they are usually afraid.
who whom which that
Explain what these words mean. Choose the right meaning from the list and then write a sentence
with WHO. Use a dictionary if necessary.
he / she steals from a store he / she breaks into a house and steals things
he / she doesn't eat meat he / she fills prescriptions for medicine
he / she designs buildings he / she buys something from a store
1. AN ARCHITECT: An architect is someone who designs buildings.
2. A BURGLAR: _____________________________________________________________.
3. A VEGETARIAN: _____________________________________________________________.
4. A CUSTOMER: _____________________________________________________________.
5. A SHOPLIFTER: _____________________________________________________________.
6. A PHARMACIST: _____________________________________________________________.
Fill in the blanks with a relative pronoun
1. Where is the bottle of Coke ___________ I bought this morning?
2. I talked to the girl ___________ car had broken down in front of the shop.
3. Mr Jones, ___________ is a taxi driver, lives on the corner.
4. There is the car ___________ I'd like to buy.
5. He cleaned the car ___________ had an accident.
6. This is the girl ___________ comes from Spain.
7. That's Peter, the boy ___________ has just arrived at the airport.
8. What did you do with the money ___________ your mother lent you?
Choose the correct relative pronoun (who, which, whose).
1. This is the bank __________ was robbed yesterday.
2. A boy __________ sister is in my class was in the bank at that time.
3. The man __________ robbed the bank had two pistols.
4. He wore a mask __________ made him look like Mickey Mouse.
5. He came with a friend __________ waited outside in the car.
6. The woman __________ gave him the money was young.
7. The bag __________ contained the money was yellow.
8. The people __________ were in the bank were very frightened.
9. A man __________ mobile was ringing did not know what to do.
10. A woman __________ daughter was crying tried to calm her.
11. The car __________ the bank robbers escaped in was orange.
12. The robber __________ mask was obviously too big didn't drive.
13. The man __________ drove the car was nervous.
14. He didn't wait at the traffic lights __________ were red.
15. A police officer__________ car was parked at the next corner stopped and arrested them.
Complete the sentences with relative clauses in simple present. Use who or which.
1. This is the man (work at the station) _________________________________
2. The tree (grow in the garden) is an apple tree _________________________
3. The man (go jogging) every Friday is my neighbour ______________________
4. The elephants (live in Africa) have big ears ___________________________
5. Turn left at the yellow house (be opposite) the petrol station________________
Fill in the blanks with a relative pronoun
1) The books, ________ I'd ordered over the internet, took nearly three weeks to arrive.
2) The books ________ I'd ordered from a bookshop arrived the following week.
3) My parents, ________ were born in the north of England, moved to London to find work.
4) The man ________ lives upstairs is always playing music when I'm trying to get to sleep.
5) The building ________ I live in was built in the 1920s.
6) The building ________ I live was built in the 1920s.
7) The car's making a funny noise again, ________ means we'll have to get someone to look at it.
8) The employee to ________ you refer is no longer working for this company.
9) Do you remember the name of the man ________ car you crashed into?
10) Have you any idea ________ they were arguing about?
11) Have you any idea ________ they were arguing?
12) The hotel ________ we stayed was very good for the price.
The sentences in this exercise are not complete. Choose the most appropriate ending from the
list and make it into a RELATIVE CLAUSE.
he invented the telephone it makes typewriters
she runs away from home it gives you the meaning of words
they are never on time it won the race
they stole my car it can support life
they used to hang on that wall it was found last week
1. Jerry works for a company that (which) makes typewriters.
2. The book is about a girl ____________________________________________.
3. What was the name of the horse ____________________________________________.?
4. The police have caught the men ____________________________________________.
5. Alexander Bell was the man ____________________________________________.
6. Where are the pictures ____________________________________________?
7. The police are still trying to identify the body _____________________________________.
8. A dictionary is a book ____________________________________________.
9. I don't like people ____________________________________________.
10. It seems that Earth is the only planet ____________________________________________.
Read the two sentences and then write one sentence with the same meaning. Use a RELATIVE
PARTICLE (THAT, WHO or WHICH) in your sentence.
A girl was injured in the accident. She is now in the hospital.
The girl who was injured in the accident is now in the hospital.
1. A man answered the phone. He told me you were out.
The man _____________________________________________
2. A waitress served us. She was very impolite and impatient.
3. Some boys were arrested. They have now been released.
The boys _________________________________________________
Defining Relative Clauses. Exercise. Combine these sentences to form one.
1. What's the name of the book? You want me to read it.
2. The man smoked forty cigarettes a day. He died of a heart attack.
3. That's the dog. Its owner is French.
4. The car was stolen. It was a BMW.
5. That's the building. I work there.
6. I rent a house. It is very small.
7. The hotel we stayed in. The hotel was very expensive.
8. The businessman was very rich. I saw him last night.
9. That's the girl. She spoke to me yesterday.
10. That's the boy. His mother works in the post office.
Combine these sentences to form one.
1. The Olympic snowboarding event was exciting. Many people watched it on TV.
2. It was the first time snowboarding had been included in the Olympics. Snowboarding is a new
3. The competition was very exciting. A Canadian won it.
4. The winner, Ross Rebagliati, lives in Whistler, BC. Many young snowboarders admire him.
5. The man was sick. He looked very pale.
6. He was sitting in the emergency room. It was very crowded.
7. A nurse was nearby. He called to her.
8. The nurse called a doctor. He came quickly.
9. The doctor asked him to lie down. This worried her very much.
10. She gave the man an injection. It made him go to sleep.
Relative clauses sentence combination
My flat is in an old part of the city. It was built in the 1920s.
There are lots of bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood. I live in the neighbourhood.
My neighbour comes from Ecuador. He works on the fruit farms around the city.
The neighbour makes a lot of noise walking around. His flat is above mine.
The traffic is also very noisy. It passes my flat.
The local market sells excellent local produce. It is a two-minute walk from my flat.
In my study there are doors leading to a balcony. The balcony overlooks the street. You can see a
long way in both directions from my balcony.
The price of flats in this area has risen a great deal since 1998. I bought my flat in 1998. This means
I could make money if I sold my flat.
The government carried out a census. According to the census there are more people moving into
the area. This makes me think that the council should invest more money here.
I once wanted to apply for a property grant, so I rang the council and spoke to a woman. She told me
that I should go to the local council offices. I could pick up an application form at the local council
offices. I should fill in the application form and return it as soon as possible