• A relative clause is a subordinate sentence which functions like an adjective, that is, it modifies a noun usually, and it can also modify a complete sentence.
  • It always comes immediately after the noun or sentence it modifies.
  • A relative clause is always introduced by a relative pronoun. This pronoun can sometimes be omitted.
  • As it is a complete sentence, it has the same parts as a sentence:         relative pronoun + subject + verb + objects + adverbials
  • The relative pronoun has a function in the sentence; it can be the subject, the direct object, the indirect object or the adverbial.
There are two main types of relative clauses: DEFINING and NON-DEFINING


 When the relative pronoun functions as the object, it can be omitted.

    E.g.:   I hate neighbours who make a lot of noise.
             The man ( whom ) you met yesterday is my uncle.
              Is that the film which won 7 Oscars ?
            That’s the company ( which ) I work for.


  • The pronoun THAT can never be used.
  • Commas are used to separate the main clause from the relative clause.
  • The pronoun can never be omitted.
          E.g.: My mother, who is 65, has just retired.
       Mrs Black, whose daughter goes to my school, has just           won the lottery.
          Peter, whom you have never met, is my brother.


EXERCISES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. And if you need more ....

Rewrite these pairs of sentences by means of a relative pronoun in order to make a relative clause. If the pronoun can be omitted, put it between brackets:

1- This is the student. She came top in the exam.
2- Chris is my best friend. I’ve known him for a long time.
3- I picked up the money. It was lying on the floor.
4- My grandparents still live in the village. I was born there.
5- Mr Bentley is away from school now. His wife is having a baby.
6- The café is open all night. We had lunch there.
7- Caroline is staying with me. She is my best friend.
8- What’s the name of the man? You are getting married to him.
9- Is this the house?  You were born in it.
10- The firm is sending him to New York. He works for this firm.
      (The firm …)
11- John is Mary’s husband. I met John in town yesterday.
12- There’s the lady. Her dog was killed.
13- The man was badly injured. He was driving the car.
14- The woman was very polite. I spoke to her yesterday.
15- I’d love to visit Australia. I went there for the first time in 1987.
16- Have you got the money? I lent it to you last week.
17- She came to my house last month. I met her then.
18- My mother looked surprised. She hadn’t been expecting visitors.
19- Those are the children. Their mother took them to the park.
20- I saw Alan in town yesterday. You have just met his father.
21- The bed was uncomfortable. I was sleeping on that bed.


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