English Learner Article Relative Clauses - Part 1

Summary: The use of relative pronouns in relatives clauses

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There are two types of relative clauses using relative pronouns.

Non-Restrictive Clauses (Non-Defining Clauses)

For People

The President of the United States, who is visiting Moscow, claimed that relations between the two countries were at their best for twenty years.

NB - you cannot use that here (after a comma).

For Things

The intermission, which lasts for fifteen minutes, comes halfway through the film.

Notes about Non-Restrictive Clauses (Non-Defining Clauses)

In this type of relative clause, the information is not essential; it could be deleted without making the sentence ungrammatical and it would still be clear who or what we are talking about.

Restrictive Clauses (Defining Clauses)

For People

The man that stole my car was fined. (this is used in American and British English)

The man who stole my car was fined. (this is used in British English)

For Things

The company which made it has gone bankrupt.

The company that made it has gone bankrupt.

Notes about Restrictive Clauses (Defining Clauses)

In this type of relative clause, the information is essential; if it is deleted,then the sentence will no longer make sense as we will not understand who or what is being talked about.

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