10.1 relative clauses

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Question English
Answer English

That guy is the actor who is going to play the president.
Don't use commas before or after the clause.
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defining relative clauses: give essential information about a noun

Ken's just seen a woman that he went to university with.
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defining relative clauses: can use that instead of who or which.

Ken's just seen a woman (who) he went to university with.
He is the subject of the relative clause, who is the object,
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defining relative clauses: can omit the relative pronoun/adverb when it is the object of the relative clause.
so we can omit who.

I remember the time when you were just a little girl.
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Use the relative pronouns who/that (people), which/that (things), whose (possession) and the relative adverbs when (time) and where (place).

It's a city whose inhabitants always seem to be upbeat.
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Whose can be used to refer to cities, countries and other nouns which suggest a group of people. It is rarely used with things.

She's someone who I know well.
I know her well.
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Omit words which have been replaced by the relative pronoun.

That's Sam, who is going to play the president.
Use commas to separate this clause from the rest of the sentence.
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non-defining relative clauses: give additional, non-essential information

The film, which won the Oscar last year, was made in India.
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non-defining relative clauses: cannot use that instead of who or which.

Gwen, who I'm going to see later, is my fiancé.
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non-defining relative clauses: cannot omit the relative pronouns/adverbs.

The plane was delayed, which meant we were late.
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non-defining relative clauses: can use which to refer to the whole of a previous clause.

This is the book which she's famous for.
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prepositions in relative clauses: in informal spoken and written English prepositions usually come at the end of the relative clause.

He is someone with whom I can work.
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In formal and in written English prepositions often come before the relative pronoun. Use whom for people.

The room where she slept/which she slept in/in which she slept is over there.
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Where can be replaced by which ... in, or, in more formal English in which.

The man is marring Suzanne. He's very lucky.
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The man who/that is marrying Suzanne is very lucky.

The house burnt down yesterday. I used to live in it.
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The house where I used to live burnt down yesterday.
The house I used to live in burnt down yesterday.

Pablo Picasso spent his early childhood in Malaga. His father was also an artist.
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Pablo Picasso, whose father was also an artist, spent his early childhood in Malaga.

That was the most important moment of my life. I realised I wanted to be an actor.
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The moment I realised I wanted to be an actor was the most important moment of my life.

The holiday was in Canada. I enjoyed it most
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The holiday I enjoyed most was in Canada.
The holiday I most enjoyed was in Canada.

Usain Bolt is a global superstar. He was the first man to win six gold Olympic medals in sprinting.
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Usain Bolt, who was the first man to win six gold Olympic medals in sprinting, is a global superstar.

I lived with a guy when I was a student. His hobby was fixing motorbikes.
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When I was a student, I lived with a guy whose hobby was fixing motorbikes.

You should make a speech. This is that sort of occasion.
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This is that sort of occasion when you should make a speech.

It was the house which I spent my childhood.
Add the missing preposition (for, from, in, on, to or with). There is one extra preposition you do not need.
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It was the house which I spent my childhood.in.
It was the house in which I spent my childhood. (more formal)

It was a lesson which I'll always be grateful.
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It was a lesson which I'll always be grateful for.
It was a lesson for which I'll always be grateful. (more formal)

She's definitely the woman whom he wants to spent the rest of his life.
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She's definitely the woman with whom he wants to spent the rest of his life.

The cinema I most often go is the Odeon in the town centre.
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The cinema I most often go to is the Odeon in the town centre.

Funnily enough, it was the planning which we spent the most time.
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Funnily enough, it was the planning which we spent the most time on.
Funnily enough, it was the planning on which we spent the most time. (more formal)

He was an athlete whom success came as naturally as his speed.
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He was an athlete for/to whom success came as naturally as his speed.

He was a friend I could always depend.
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He was a friend I could always depend on.

You're the person who we always turn when a speech is needed.
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You're the person who we always turn to when a speech is needed.


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