How to use a relative clause1

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How To Use A Relative Clause Use relative clauses to provide extra information This information can either define something (defining clause), or provide unnecessary, but interesting, added information (non-defining clause) Relative clauses can be introduced by: • • • a relative pronoun: who (whom), which, that, whose no relative pronoun, Ø where, why and when instead of a relative pronoun You need to consider the following when deciding which relative pronoun to use: • • • Is the subject or object or possessive of a relative clause? Does it refers to a person or an object? Is the relative clause a defining or non-defining relative clause? How To Use a Defining or Non-Defining Relative Clause Defining Relative Clauses The information provided in a defining relative clause is crucial in understanding the meaning of the sentence Example: The woman who lives in apartment No 34 has been arrested The document that I need has 'important' written at the top The purpose of a defining relative clause is to clearly define who or what we are talking about Without this information, it would be difficult to know who or what is meant Example: The house is being renovated In this case it is not necessarily clear which house is being renovated Non-defining Relative Clauses Non-defining relative clauses provide interesting additional information which is not essential to understanding the meaning of the sentence Example: Mrs Jackson, who is very intelligent, lives on the corner Correct punctuation is essential in non-defining relative clauses If the non-defining relative clause occurs in the middle of a sentence, a comma is put before the relative pronoun and at the end of the clause If the non-defining relative clause occurs at the end of a sentence, a comma is put before the relative pronoun How To Use A Relative Clause - The Use of Relative Pronouns in Defining Clauses Relative Pronouns in Defining Relative Clauses Person Object Subject who, that which, that Object Ø, that, who, whom Ø, which, that Possessive whose whose, of which Relative Pronouns Used As The Subject of Defining Relative Clauses Example: Children who (that) play with fire are in great danger of harm The man who bought all the books by Hemingway has died Generally, who and which are more usual in written English whereas that is more usual in speech when referring to things Relative Pronouns Used As The Object of Defining Relative Clauses Example: That's the boy (Ø , that, who, whom) I invited to the party There's the house (Ø, that, which) I'd like to buy Relative Pronouns Used As A Possessive In A Defining Relative Clauses Example: He's the man whose car was stolen last week They were sure to visit the town whose location (OR the location of which) was little known NOTE: It is preferable to use that (not which) after the following words: all, any(thing), every (thing), few, little, many, much, no(thing), none, some(thing), and after superlatives When using the pronoun to refer to the object, that can be omitted Example: It was everything (that) he had ever wanted There were only a few (that) really interested him How To Use A Relative Clause - The Use of Relative Pronouns in Non-Defining Relative Clauses Relative Pronouns in Non-Defining Relative Clauses Person Object Subject who which Object who, whom which Possessive whose whose, of which Relative Pronouns Used As The Subject of Non-Defining Relative Clauses Example: Frank Zappa, who was one of the most creative artists in rock 'n roll, came from California Olympia, whose name is taken from the Greek, is the capitol of Washington State Relative Pronouns Used As The Object of Non-Defining Relative Clauses Example: Frank invited Janet, who (whom) he had met in Japan, to the party Peter brought his favorite antique book, which he had found at a flee market, to show his friends NOTE: 'That' can never be used in non-defining clauses Relative Pronouns Used As A Possessive In Non-Defining Relative Clauses Example: The singer, whose most recent recording has had much success, signing autographs The artist, whose name he could not remember, was one of the best he had ever seen NOTES In non-defining relative clauses, which can be used to refer to an entire clause Example: He came for the weekend wearing only some shorts and a tshirt, which was a stupid thing to After numbers and words like many, most, neither, and some, we use of before whom and which in non-defining relative clauses Example: Many of those people, most of whom enjoyed their experience, spent at least a year abroad Dozens of people had been invited, most of whom I knew The Use Of Where, Why And When - Relative Clauses and Preposition Use Where, referring to a place, why, referring to a reason, and when, referring to a time, can be used instead of a relative pronoun after a noun In defining relative clauses why and when, unlike where can be omitted Example: I'd like to know the reason (why) he decided not to come February is the month (when) many of my colleagues take skiing holidays BUT! She always had wanted to go to a place where she could speak her native tongue When, where and why are not omitted in non-defining relative clauses Example: I come from the Seattle area, where many successful companies such as Microsoft and Boeing are located, and I often go home during the summer He likes shopping between one and three, when most people are at home, because of the relative calm NOTES: When speaking, we often omit the relative pronoun Whom is formal and most often used when writing Relative clauses and prepositions In formal English prepositions can come before the relative pronoun However, it much more common to place prepositions at the end of the relative clause, especially in informal spoken English Example: John Robbins, whom I spoke to by telephone, instructed me to buy 200 shares of WAKO Formal The Ritz, which was stayed at in New York, was extremely expensive Defining Relative Clauses Formal Informal Person whom Ø Object which Ø Example: The banker to whom I gave my check was quite friendly formal The woman I talked to was very pleasant indeed - informal The book which I received for my birthday was excellent - formal The car he drove was really fast - informal Non-Defining Relative Clauses Formal Informal Person whom who Object which which Example: The bank manager, to whom he addressed his complaints, was very unhelpful - formal The local branch manager, who I talked to about my problems, was very helpful - informal ... The Use Of Where, Why And When - Relative Clauses and Preposition Use Where, referring to a place, why, referring to a reason, and when, referring to a time, can be used instead of a relative. .. pronoun How To Use A Relative Clause - The Use of Relative Pronouns in Defining Clauses Relative Pronouns in Defining Relative Clauses Person Object Subject who, that which, that Object Ø, that,... Non-Defining Relative Clauses Example: Frank Zappa, who was one of the most creative artists in rock 'n roll, came from California Olympia, whose name is taken from the Greek, is the capitol of Washington
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