Definition: A defining relative clause (also called identifying relative clauses orrestrictive relative clauses) gives essential information about the noun or noun phraseit modifies, 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.
For example:* The hotel that we stayed in wasn't bad. ("that we stayed in" tells the listener which hotel we are talking about; it defines the hotel).
Punctuation Commas are not used in defining relativeclauses.
Relative pronouns: The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses:
| Person | Thing | Place | Time | Reason |
Subject | who/that | which/that | | | |
Object |who/whom/that/ø | which/that/ø | where | when | why |
Possessive | whose | whose | | | |
Notes:"Who", "whom" and "which" can be replaced by "that". This is very common in spoken English.The "relative pronoun" can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause.
* The mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful.
*The mouse /ø the elephant loved was verybeautiful.
"Whose" is used for things as well as for people.
* The man whose car was stolen.
* A tree whose leaves have fallen.
"Whom" is very formal and is only used in written English.You can use "who/that, or omit" the pronoun completely.
* the doctor whom/who/that/ø I was hoping to see wasn't on duty.
"That" normally follows words like "something, anything,everything, nothing, all, and superlatives".
* There's something that you should know.
* It was the best film that I've ever seen.
* The woman who lives in apartment No. 34has been arrested.
* An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
* Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?
* The house /ø is being renovated.
* Has anyone seen the book I...