DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES
As the name suggests, these clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about. Obviously, this is onlynecessary if there is more than one person or thing involved.
Elephants who marry mice are very unusual.
In this sentence we understand that there are many elephants, but it is clear thatwe are only talking the ones who marry mice.
Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.
The following relative pronouns are used in defining relativeclauses:
| |Person |Thing |Place |
|Noun, subject of |relative pronoun |verb + rest of relative clause|verb + restof main clause |
|main clause |referring to 'the| | |
| |woman', subject || |
| |of 'spoke' | | |
2. Who, whom and which can bereplaced by that. This is very common in spoken English.
3. The relative pronoun can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause:
The mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful.
OR Themouse the elephant loved was very beautiful.
Both of these sentences are correct, though the second one is more common in spoken English.
|The mouse |that/ø |the elephantloved |was very beautiful. |
|Noun, subject of main |relative pronoun, |verb + rest of relative |verb + rest of main clause. |
|clause|referring to 'the |clause | |
| |mouse, object of | | |