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Clauses 1

ENES MORELIA

A. Relative clauses
Relative pronouns

Subjectcannot be
ommited

Objectcan be Possessive cannot


ommited
be ommited

FOR
PEOPLE

who/ that

who(m)/that

whose

FOR
THINGS

which/ that

Which/that

whose

We use relative pronouns:


after a noun, to make it clear which person or thing we are talking about:
the house that Jack built
the woman who discovered radium
an eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop
to tell us more about a person or thing:
My mother, who was born overseas, has always been a great traveller.
Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired.
We had fish and chips, which is my favourite meal.

But we do not use that as a subject in this kind of relative clause.


We use whose as the possessive form of who:
This is George, whose brother went to school with me.
We sometimes use whom as the object of a verb or preposition:

Clauses 1

ENES MORELIA

This is George, whom you met at our house last year.


This is Georges brother, with whom I went to school.
But nowadays we normally use who:
This is George, who you met at our house last year.
This is Georges brother, who I went to school with.
When whom or which have a preposition the preposition can come at
the beginning of the clause...
I had an uncle in Germany, from who[m] I inherited a bit of money.
We bought a chainsaw, with which we cut up all the wood.
or at the end of the clause:
I had an uncle in Germany who[m] I inherited a bit of money from.
We bought a chainsaw, which we cut all the wood up with.
We can use that at the beginning of the clause:
I had an uncle in Germany that I inherited a bit of money from.
We bought a chainsaw that we cut all the wood up with.

Source: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/node/1295/

Note

Prepositions normally go after relative pronouns. In formal speech,


prepositions can go before whom and which only (not before
who/that/whose).
The room (that/which) I slept in last night was very cozy. (usual)
The room in which I slept last night was very soft. (normal)

Expressions of quantity (some of, many of, a few of , most of, half of,
neither of, none of, a number of, etc.) can be followed by
whom/which/whose.

The school has 300 students, most of whom are computer literate.

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ENES MORELIA

Which sometimes refers to a whole sentence and cannot be omitted.


The elevator was out of order and this was very inconvenient
The elevator was out of order, which was very inconvenient.

Relative adverbs
The relative adverbs where, when & why can be used to join sentences or
clauses. They replace the more formal structure of preposition + which used
to introduce a relative clause.

Formal structure: preposition + which

More common structure using a


relative adverb

That's the restaurant in which we met for


the first time.

That's the restaurant where we met for


the first time.

That picture was taken in the park at


which I used to play.

That picture was taken in the


park where I used to play.

I remember the day on which we first met.

I remember the day when we first met.

There was a very hot summer the year in


which he was born.

There was a very hot summer the


year when he was born.

Tell me the reason for which you came


home late.

Tell me (the reason) why you came home


late.

Do you want to know the reason for


which he is angry with Sally?

Do you want to know (the


reason) why he is angry with Sally

Source: http://www.edufind.com/english-grammar/relative-adverbs/

Clauses 1

ENES MORELIA

Note

That can be used instead of when.


Ill never forget the summer when/that we went to Nice.

In/on/at which can be used instead of when and where. Where can be
omitted or substituted by that if the verb is followed by a preposition.
We stayed at a rather cheap hotel
The hotel where / at which we stayed was rather cheap

or

The hotel (that) we stayed at was rather cheap.

Defining and non-defining relative clauses


Note

Defining relative clauses provide information which is essential to the


meaning of the sentence.
No commas are used.
Students who cheat should be punished.

Non-defining relative clauses provide additional information


(not essential to the meaning of the sentence). They are put between
commas. The relative pronouns cannot be omitted; neither can we use that
instead of them.
The doctor, who is the Head of the Department, will attend the
reception.

Source:

Mitchel, H. Q. (2012). Grammar & Vocabulary Practice . EU: MM Publications .

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