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Published byMabel Welch Modified over 7 years ago
Relative clauses describe and provide information about something or someone that we have usually already specified. –I like working with students who appreciate what I do. We use relative clauses in order to identify things or people and to distinguish them from other similar things. –Mancunians aren’t people who live in Manchester, they’re people who were born there
USE We use relative clauses to give additional information about something without starting another sentence. By combining sentences with a relative clause, your text becomes more fluent and you can avoid repeating certain words.
1. Subject and Object Relative clauses give extra information about a noun in the main clause. They can refer to this as subject or object. “That’s the woman who bought my car” “That’s the flat that I was looking for” 2. Combining sentences Note how sentences are combined. Subject : “This is Sofia. She bought my car” “ Sofia is the person who bought my car” Object : “That is the flat. I was looking for it” “ That is the flat that I was looking for” RELATIVE CLAUSES Subject Object
How to Form Relative Clauses Imagine, a girl is talking to Tom. You want to know who she is and ask a friend whether he knows her. >>You could say: A girl is talking to Tom. Do you know the girl?
A girl is talking to Tom. Do you know the girl?
That sounds rather complicated, doesn't it? >> It would be easier with a relative clause: you put both pieces of information into one sentence. Start with the most important thing – you want to know who the girl is. Do you know the girl …
Do you know the girl….?
As your friend cannot know which girl you are talking about, you need to put in the additional information – the girl is talking to Tom. >Use „the girl“ only in the first part of the sentence, > in the second part replace it with the relative pronoun (for people, use the relative pronoun “who”).
So the final sentence is: Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?
Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom ?
Where do they come in sentences? They usually come immediately after what they qualify –People who know different foreign languages make better language teachers. When the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause the word order is subject+verb+object –He showed me the rocks which he had collected. When the relative pronoun is the object the word order is object+subject+verb –The bus came at last, which was an enormous relief.
TYPES Defining relative clauses give important information to identify the person or thing we are talking about. We don’t use a comma. –People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Non-defining relative clauses give additional information about the person or thing we are talking about. We use a comma. –Prof. Johnson, who I have long admired, is coming to visit us next week.
DEFINING CLAUSES The relative pronoun can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause:The relative pronoun can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause: The mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful. ORThe mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful. OR The mouse the elephant loved was very beautiful.The mouse the elephant loved was very beautiful. Both of these sentences are correct, though the second one is more common in spoken English.Both of these sentences are correct, though the second one is more common in spoken English.
RELATIVE PRONOUNS IN DEFINING CLAUSES subjectobject people who / that whom / that / ø things which / that which / that / ø
WHO subject or object pronoun for people 1.Subject : I told you about the woman who lives next door. 2.Object: ( Pronoun Omission) Mary is the girl (who/whom) we met at the party.
WHICH subject or object pronoun for animals and things 1.Subject: Do you see the cat which is lying on the roof? 2.Object: ( Pronoun Omission) :Have you seen the book (which ) I put on this table?
THAT subject or object pronoun for people, animals and things in defining relative clauses (who or which are also possible) 1.Subject: I don’t like the table that /which stands in the kitchen. Pronoun Omission): 2.Object: ( Pronoun Omission): This is the sweater (that/ which) I bought on Saturday.
WHOSE possession for people animals and things. WHOSE cannot be omitted. Do you know the girl whose mother is a nurse?
WHOM object pronoun for people BUT in defining relative clauses we colloquially prefer who) Pronoun omission : I was invited by the professor (whom /who/that) I met at the conference.
RELATIVE PRONOUNS & ADVERBS IN DEFINING PersonThingPlaceTimeReason Subjectwho/thatwhich/that Objectwho/whom /that/ø which/that/ ø wherewhenwhy Possessi ve whose
WHEN Meaning: in/on which Use: refers to a time expression (Pronoun omission): Is there a time (when) we can meet?
WHERE Meaning: in/at which Use: refers to place (Pronoun omission )+ preposition: The hotel where we stay was very small. The hotel we stay at was very small
WHY Meaning: for which Use: refers to a reason (Pronoun omission): Is there a reason (why/ that) you want to leave now?
NON- DEFINING Non-defining clauses add extra information, separated by commas in writing, and intonation in speaking. “ Tom’s mother, who is 78, goes swimming every day”
Non-defining pronouns & adverbs CANNOT be OMITTED PersonThingPlaceTime Subjectwhowhich Objectwho/whomWhichwherewhen Possessi ve whose
NON-DEFINING EXAMPLES WHO: Last weekend I met Sue, who told me she was going on holiday soo. WHOM/ WHO (as object): Sarah Ros, whom /who you met in Madrid last week, will be at the party. WHICH: Sue´s house, which is in the centre of the town, is over 1oo years old. WHOSE: Tina Harris, whose brother is the actor Paul Harris, is a good friend of mine. WHERE: We visited a town called Christchurch, where we had lunch in an Italian restaurant. WHEN: We are going on holiday in September, when the weather isn’t so hot
Prepositions + relative pronouns In formal style we usually put a preposition before the relative pronoun and we use whom instead of who. –The office to which Graham took us was filled with books In less formal style we usually put the preposition at the end of the relative clause. –The office that Graham took us to was filled with books
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