RELATIVE CLAUSE

Image
  • Article graphics | Credit Javatpoint

What is a Relative Clause?

A RELATIVE CLAUSE is a dependent clause which gives additional information about the head noun of the main clause.

For example:
  • The book, that I read yesterday, was very interesting.
  • In this sentence, “book” → head noun of main clause: “The book was very interesting.” that I read yesterday → relative clause, giving additional information about the book

In English a relative clause is usually introduced by a relative pronoun, such as, who, whom, whose, what, which, and that or a relative adverb, such as where and when.

Fundamentals

    The relative clause always comes directly after the head noun.
  • Relative pronouns functioning as the subject of the relative clause and possessive pronouns are always stated.
For example:
  • The person who plays badminton is Liam.
  • Here, “person” → head noun, “who” → relative pronoun, functioning as subject of “plays”, who plays badminton → relative clause, giving additional information about the person

Consider another example:
  • The person whose book I borrowed has left.
  • Here, “person” → head noun, “whose” → possessive pronoun, whose book I borrowed → relative clause, giving additional information about the person

Relative pronouns or adverbs functioning as direct or indirect objects, or objects of a preposition are often omitted.

Examples:

    • The woman I saw yesterday was Gretchen.
    • Or
    • The woman (whom) I saw yesterday was Gretchen.
    • In this example, “woman” → head noun, “whom” → relative pronoun (omitted), functioning as direct object of “saw”. I saw yesterday → relative clause, giving additional information about the woman

    • The book I read was interesting.
    • Or
    • The book (which or that) I read was interesting.
    • Here, “book” → head noun, “which” or “that” → relative pronoun (omitted), functioning as direct object of “read”, I read → relative clause, giving additional information about the book

    • The student I spoke to was very nice.
    • Or
    • The student (to whom) I spoke was very nice.
    • In this example, “student” → head noun, “to whom” → relative pronoun (omitted), functioning as indirect object of “spoke”, I spoke to → relative clause, giving additional information about the student

    • I went to the same school my brothers went to.
    • Or
    • I went to the same school (where) my brothers went.
    • Here, “school” → head noun, “where” → relative adverb (omitted) functioning as indirect object of “went”, my brothers went to → relative clause, giving additional information about the school.

  • Share
  • References
    • English Grammar for Students of Chinese What Is A Relative Clause? (Pg 71) By Matthew B. Christensen.

Recommended Books to Flex Your Knowledge