(Defining) Relative clauses (whothatwhich)

Defining relative clauses

As the name suggests, defining relative clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about. Take for example the sentence: Dogs that like cats are very unusual. In this sentence we understand that there are many dogs in the world, but we are only talking about the ones that like cats. The defining relative clause gives us that information. If the defining relative clause were removed from the sentence, the sentence would still be gramatically correct, but its meaning would have changed significantly.

Defining relative clauses are composed of a relative pronoun (sometimes omitted), a verb, and optional other elements such as the subject or object of the verb. Commas are not used to separate defining relative clauses from the rest of the sentence. Commas or parentheses are used to separate non-defining relative clauses from the rest of the sentence.

  • Children who hate chocolate are uncommon.
  • They live in a house whose roof is full of holes.
  • An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
  • Let’s go to a country where the sun always shines.
  • The reason why I came here today is not important.

Relative pronouns

The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses. These relative pronouns appear at the start of the defining relative clause and refer to a noun that appears earlier in the sentence.

Person Thing Place Time Reason
Subject who/that which/that
Object who/whom/that which/that where when why
Possessive whose whose
Replacing with «that» in spoken English

The pronouns who, whom, and which are often replaced by that in spoken English. Whom is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use who or that instead, or omit the pronoun completely. In the examples below, the common usage is given with the defining relative clause highlighted. The pronoun that would be used in more formal written English instead of that is given in parentheses.

  • The dish that I ordered was delicious. (which)
  • The man that came with her has already left. (who)
  • The doctor that I was hoping to see wasn’t on duty. (whom)
Including or omitting the relative pronoun

The relative pronoun can only be omitted when it is the object of the clause. When the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause, it cannot be omitted. You can usually tell when a relative pronoun is the object of the clause because it is followed by another subject + verb. See below, in the first sentence the relative pronoun cannot be ommitted because it is the subject of the relative clause («the woman spoke»). In the second sentence, the pronoun can be omitted because «the woman» is the object of the verb «loved».

Noun, subject of the main clause Relative pronoun Verb + rest of relative clause Verb + rest of main clause
The woman that spoke at the meeting was very knowledgeable.
The woman (that) the man loved was living in New York.
Other uses of «that»

‘That’ is often used to introduce defining relative clauses when they follow the words something, anything, everything, nothing, all or a superlative. It may be omitted when it is not the subject of the clause.

Relative Clauses

Семестр пролетел, как и не было. Казалось, еще учиться и учиться, а вот уже экзамены сданы! Недаром говорят – Все в мире относительно. Предлагаю очередную тему моей грамматической рубрики: Relative Clauses – Все относительно!

Для начала, хочу напомнить о разнице между Sentence и Clause.
Sentence – все предложение от начала до конца. Может содержать в себе много Clause-ов. Бывает сложно-сочинительное, когда Clause-ы не подчиняются друг другу, и сложноподчинительное, соответственно :)

Clause – предложение, являющееся частью сложного предложения. Это как вагончики поезда :)
The logo which you prefer looks old-fashioned.
Логотип, который вы предпочитаете, выглядит старомодным.
Clause 1: The logo looks old-fashioned – Логотип выглядит старомодным
Clause 2: which you prefer – который вы предпочитаете
Relative clause — Придаточное предложение, выполняющее в предложении функцию определения. Образуется с помощью относительного местоимения (who/which/that), которое ставится в начале придаточного предложения после определяемого слова. Относительное местоимение иногда может быть опущено.

Существует два типа придаточных определительных:

Defining relative clauses

Non-defining relative clauses

Those who have not yet registered should do so at once. — Те, кто еще не зарегистрировался, должны сделать это незамедлительно

Yesterday we visited the City Museum, which I’d never been to before. — Вчера мы ходили в Городской музей, в котором я никогда раньше не был

уточняют значение определяемого слова:

только те, кто еще не зарегистрировался

сообщают дополнительную информацию об определяемом слове — музее

Defining relative clauses

• Уточняют, о ком / о чем именно мы говорим. Часто начинаются с относительного местоимения who, which, that.

• Мы используем who / that, когда говорим о людях:

The lawyer who / that works in this room is the best in the company.
Юрист, который работает в этой комнате, лучший в компании.
who / that works in this room говорит о том, какой именно юрист

• Мы используем which / that, когда говорим о вещах, понятиях:

The office which / that the CEO prefers is in the city centre.
Офис, который предпочитает наш директор, находится в центре.
which / that the CEO prefers говорит о том, какой именно офис

Subject and Object relative Clauses

• Относительные местоимения who/which/that могут быть опущены, если они являются объектом Defining relative clause:
The manager (who) we hired last week has already resigned.
Менеджер, которого мы наняли на прошлой неделе
Наняли кого? – которого :) в смысле менеджера; которого — объект

The manager who applied last week has already resigned.
Менеджер, который обратился к нам
Обратился кто? – который :) в смысле менеджер; который – субъект

Если относительное местоимение является субъектом, оно не опускается.

Non-defining relative clauses

• Используются, чтобы дать дополнительную информацию о человеке или предмете:

Mr. Green, who is our best lawyer, is going to leave the company.
Нам известен человек, о котором мы говорим – Мистер Грин.
Тот факт, что он лучший юрист – дополнительная информация.

• В таком типе предложений Relative clause выделяется запятыми.

That в качестве альтернативы who и which НЕ УПОТРЕБЛЯЕТСЯ.

• Говоря о компаниях можно употреблять which или who:
BMW, who control over 30% of the European car market, are going to expand.

• Определительное придаточное предложение может относиться не только к отдельному слову, но и ко всему главному предложению целиком. Такое придаточное может вводиться только союзом which. Находится оно всегда после главного предложения:

He never
admits his mistakes, which is extremely annoying.
Он никогда не признает своих ошибок, что безумно раздражает


• Whose употребляется в Relative Clauses обоих типов и показывает принадлежность (вместо his / her / its / their и т.д.):

Mr. Green, whose report you read yesterday, is our accountant.
Мистер Грин, чей отчет вы вчера читали, наш бухгалтер.

В Business English Relative Clauses можно использовать для комментариев:

— We’ll have to launch this product in spring.

Relative clauses

Урок 6. Английский язык 9 класс ФГОС

Конспект урока «Relative clauses»

Hello, guys! Welcome to Grammar Zone! My name’s Harry Jones.

My best friends Allan and Kate will help me make our lessons useful and enjoyable.

Yesterday I was searching for something interesting to read at the library when I found this dictionary. It’s not a typical dictionary.

The Devil’s Dictionary was written between 1881 and 1887 by Ambrose Bierce. He was a 19 th -century American author and journalist.

Bierce’s dictionary does not contain normal definitions – his definitions are funny and cynical.

For example, look at this definition. What do you think the missing word is?

______ a person who puts metal in your mouth and takes coins out of your pocket.

Well, the missing word is a dentist.

In a normal dictionary the definition of a dentist is “a kind of a doctor who looks after people’s teeth.” But The Devil’s Dictionary is a … different kind of dictionary.

Think of normal definitions for these words or phrases:

a bank, a boring person, the brain, a star, a friend, a secret.

Now match the words to the definitions from the Devil’s Dictionary.

1. A star is a person who works all her life to become famous and then wears sunglasses so people don’t recognize her.

2. A secret is something which you only tell one person.

3. A boring person is somebody who talks about himself when you want to talk about yourself.

4. A friend is somebody who dislikes the same people as you.

5. A bank is a place where you can borrow money only if you can show that you don’t need it.

6. The brain is something which starts working when you get up in the morning and stops working when you get to work or school.

What do we call the highlighted words in these sentences:

a) reflexive pronouns?

b) relative pronouns or

c) question words?

The highlighted words are called relative pronouns.

We use a relative pronoun in the beginning of a relative clause to give more information about a noun in the main sentence.

Here is a list of the relative pronouns and their uses.

· We use WHO or THAT for people.

The old lady whom I met was one hundred and three years old.

· We use WHOSE to show possession both for people and things.

This is Mr Simpson whose son moved to New York.

· We use WHICH or THAT for animals and things.

The car which/that they bought was quite expensive.

Relative adverbs are where, when and why.

· We use WHERE for place.

The town where I grew up is very small.

· We use WHEN for time.

That was the year when I finished the university.

· We use WHY for reasons.

The real reason why she came was to talk to my dad.

Have you seen the book that Ron gave me?

NOT: Have you seen the book what Ron gave me?

There are two types of relative clauses: defining relative clauses and non-defining relative clauses.

Defining relative clauses give essential information about the noun they refer to. Without them the main clause doesn’t make sense.

Look at these two sentences:

The people are very noisy. (main sentence)

They live in the flat above us. (essential information)

The main clause doesn’t make sense unless we define who we are talking about.

This information comes in the relative clause.

The people who live in the flat above us are very noisy.

Jane made a cake. (main sentence)

Nobody liked it. (essential information)

Nobody liked the cake that Jane had made.

· When who/whom, which or that is the object of the relative clause, we usually leave it out.

The book is very good. (main clause)

You gave me this book. (This book is the object.)

The book (that) you gave me is very good.

· We never leave out the relative pronoun if it refers to the subject of the main clause.

The book is very good. (main clause)

The book won the prize. (The book is the subject.)

The book that won the prize is very good.

Non-defining relative clauses give us extra information about the noun to which they refer to. The information is not essential because the main clause is complete without it.

Look at these two sentences:

London has over 6 million people.

London, which is the capital of Britain, has over 6 million people.

The clause which is the capital of Britain gives us more information about London, but we do not need this information to define London. We can understand the first sentence without this extra information.

Which is the capital of Britain is a non-defining relative clause.

· Who and which are not omitted in non-defining relative clauses!

· That cannot replace who or which.

He invited me to the party, which was very kind of him.

Peter, who works really hard, got a promotion. NOT: Peter, that works really hard, got a promotion.

A defining relative clause is not put in commas.

A non-defining relative clause is put in commas.

Note how the commas change the meaning of the sentence:

The boys in my class, who enjoyed the film, saw it again. (all the boys in my class)

The boys in my class who enjoyed the film saw it again. (only some boys in my class)

Allan: To practice the rule, I’d like you to complete the text about another prominent writer – Lewis Carroll by putting who, which or whose in the gaps.

Alice in Wonderland, which is one of the most popular children’s books in the world, was written by Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson.

Carroll, who had a natural talent as a story-teller, loved to entertain children, including Alice Liddell, whose father was a colleague of Carroll’s at Oxford University. One day Carroll took Alice and her sisters for a trip on the river Thames, which flows through Oxford. After the trip, Carroll wrote in his diary that he had told the children a wonderful story, which he had promised to write down for them. He wrote the story, illustrated it with his own drawings, and gave it to the children. Later it was published.

Relative Clause в английском языке

Relative clause – это придаточное предложение, выполняющее в предложении функцию определения.

Давайте рассмотрим несколько предложений с определительными придаточными, чтобы понять, что они из себя представляют.

My friend who lives in Canada has divorced recently. Мой друг, который живет в Канаде, недавно развелся.

That’s the boy who broke my glasses. Это мальчик, который разбил мои очки.

This is the exercise that I couldn’t do. Это упражнение, которое я не смог решить.

The poem which you wrote is great! Стихотворение, которое ты написал, великолепно!

The girl whom you wrote is my cousin. Девушка, которой ты написал, моя двоюродная сестра.

This is Mike, whose elder sister was on yesterday party. Это Майк, чья старшая сестра была на вчерашней вечеринке.

Where is this the house which/that you bought? Где дом, который вы купили?

Как вы видите из примеров, Relative Clauses в английском языке могут начинаться с таких относительных местоимений как (relative pronoun) :

who (кто, который – употребляется только с людьми),

that (что, который – употребляется с неодушевленными и одушевленными предметами),

which (который – может стоять только в середине предложения, используется с неодушевленными предметами),

whom (которому – употребляется с одушевленными предметами),

А теперь давайте перейдем к самому главному, к правилам Relative clause:

Давайте рассмотрим предложение:

The couple who live next door have twelve children. Пара, которая живет по соседству, имеет 12 детей. (Грамотнее, конечно, на русский перевести как: У пары, живущей по соседству, 12 детей).

The couple have twelve children –это главное предложение.

Если мы хотим дать какое-либо уточнение об этой семейной паре (какая она?), то необходимо использовать определительное придаточное предложение – defining relative clause. В данном случае это — who live next door.

Who в является относительным местоимением — relative pronoun.

Обратите внимание, что относительное местоимение может быть как субъектом, так и объектом главного предложения.

I have a friend who speaks German. У меня есть друг, который говорит на немецком языке.

Здесь who является подлежащим = Он говорит.

The girl who you saw speaks Chinese. Девушка, которую ты увиде л , говорит на китайском языке. Здесь who является определением.

Спрашивается, зачем это надо знать? Все дело в том, что если who является подлежащим (т.е. субъектом, выполняющим действие), то его можно опустить!

Обратите внимание, что если who является объектом (т.е. определением), то его можно заменить на whom, если речь, конечно, идет о человеке.

Если речь идет о неодушевленном предмете и животных, то надо использовать местоимение which.

Местоимение that можно использовать как к одушевленным, так и к неодушевленным предметам.

Возникает вопрос, если that может заменить who и which, то можно ли его тогда использовать всегда и забыть о других местоимениях?

Нет, так делать нельзя. Грамотно that использовать в следующих случаях:

Обычно that используется в тех предложения, где оно является субъектом (т.е. то, что выполняет действие) и стоит после таких слов как:

Something [‘s?m. ] — кое-что, что-нибудь, что-то

Anything [‘en. ] — что-нибудь

Little [‘l?tl] – мало, маленький

None [n?n] – ни один из

Также местоимение that используется в предложениях с превосходной степенью сравнения.

Кстати, подробнее о степенях сравнения в английском языке читайте здесь.

(Defining) Relative clauses (who/that/which)

Relative clauses — ◊ GRAMMAR A relative clause is a subordinate clause which gives more information about someone or something mentioned in the main clause. The relative clause comes immediately after the noun which refers to the person or thing being talked about … Useful english dictionary

relative clauses — ◊ GRAMMAR A relative clause is a subordinate clause which gives more information about someone or something mentioned in the main clause. The relative clause comes immediately after the noun which refers to the person or thing being talked about … Useful english dictionary

English relative clauses — This article is focused mainly on usage of English relative clauses. For theoretical background on the subject, see the main article on relative clauses. The relative pronouns in English include who , whom , whose , which , and that . (Note: Not… … Wikipedia

The Future — ◊ GRAMMAR For the formation of future tenses, see entry at ↑ Tenses. ◊ talking about the future You can talk about future events in a variety of ways. You use will or shall when making predictions about the future. The weather tomorrow will be… … Useful english dictionary

the future — ◊ GRAMMAR For the formation of future tenses, see entry at ↑ Tenses. ◊ talking about the future You can talk about future events in a variety of ways. You use will or shall when making predictions about the future. The weather tomorrow will be… … Useful english dictionary

HEBREW GRAMMAR — The following entry is div >Encyclopedia of Judaism

Restrictiveness — Restrictive clause redirects here. For the legal concept, see restrictive covenant. In semantics, a modifier is sa >Wikipedia

German sentence structure — is somewhat more complex than that of many other European languages, with phrases regularly inverted for both questions and subordinate phrases. Main Sentence If a verb has a separable prefix, this prefix is moved to the end of the sentence.: Ich … Wikipedia

that — /dhat/; unstressed /dheuht/, pron. and adj., pl. those; adv.; conj. pron. 1. (used to indicate a person, thing, >Universalium

who — whom — Who and whom are pronouns. ◊ asking for information You use who when you are asking about someone s >Useful english dictionary

that — [[t]ðæt[/t]] unstressed [[t]ðət[/t]] pron. and adj. pl. those; adv. ; conj. 1) fun (used to indicate a person or thing as pointed out or present, mentioned before, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis): That is her mother[/ex] 2) fun… … From formal English to slang

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