Relative clauses

So we can use relative clauses to join two English sentences, or to give more information about something.

I bought a new car. It is very fast. → I bought a new car that is very fast.

She lives in New York. New York is a wonderful city. → She lives in New York, which is a wonderful city.

After studying the different relatives we have to bear in mind there are two types of relative sentences:

Defining Relative Clauses

Defining relative clauses give detailed information defining a general term or expression. Defining relative clauses are not put in commas. Defining relative clauses are often used in definitions, e.g.. A seaman is someone who works on a ship.

Object pronouns in defining relative clauses can be dropped, e.g. The boy (who/whom) we met yesterday is very nice.

Not sure when you can drop the pronoun? Have some practice on this quiz

Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Non-defining relative clauses  give additional information on something, but do not define it. Non-defining relative clauses are put in commas, e.g. Jim, who/whom we met yesterday, is very nice.

Note: In non-defining relative clauses, who/which may not be replaced with that.

Try these rewrites or complete this exercise to practice non-defining relative clauses.

Now a mix of them all: 1

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