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    #1

    Concept of relative pronoun

    According to Wikipedia, the relative pronoun links two clauses into a single complex clause. The following sentences are from Wikipedia (Relative pronoun) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_pronoun
    Quote
    (1) This is a house. Jack built this house.
    (2) This is the house that Jack built.
    Unquote
    I don’t think people say (1) in usual conversation. People will not show the house and say, “This is a house,” unless it does not look like a house, because everybody can tell a house from other things. Moreover, English learners wonder why “a house” in (1) changes to “the house” when “This is a house.” is linked to “Jack built this house.” in sentence (2).
    The following sentence order can occur.
    (a) Jack built a house. This is the house.
    Then, isn’t it possible to think that the second sentence (“This is the house” in the above case) can link to the first sentence (“Jack built a house.”) to make the sentence, “This is the house that Jack built.”?

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    #2

    Re: Concept of relative pronoun

    I can't really see why not, though neither pair is particularly natural or likely to be heard in conversation- the natural one is the sentence with the relative. Your version could raise a question among learners about why the order is reversed, though.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: Concept of relative pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    According to Wikipedia, the relative pronoun links two clauses into a single complex clause. The following sentences are from Wikipedia (Relative pronoun) Relative pronoun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia






    Quote


    (1) This is a house. Jack built this house.


    (2) This is the house that Jack built.


    Unquote



    I don’t think people say (1) in usual conversation. People will not show the house and say, “This is a house,” unless it does not look like a house, because everybody can tell a house from other things. Moreover, English learners wonder why “a house” in (1) changes to “the house” when “This is a house.” is linked to “Jack built this house.” in sentence (2).



    The following sentence order can occur.



    (a) Jack built a house. This is the house.


    Then, isn’t it possible to think that the second sentence (“This is the house” in the above case) can link to the first sentence (“Jack built a house.”) to make the sentence, “This is the house that Jack built.”?
    Barring the point mentioned by Tdol, your version can be acceptable in conversation.
    In either case, the relative clause is the same and the relative pronoun ‘that’ acts as object of the relative clause.. So in order to understand the concept of functioning of a relative pronoun, you have to bring some change to demonstrate the two functions of a relative pronoun, which are:.
    a) It joins a relative clause with the main clause and provides some essential information that explains the main clause..
    b) It acts as antecedent/referent of a noun which can be a word, phrase or a clause in the main clause while it itself functions as either a subject, an object or a possessive of the relative clause.
    In the example sentence, ‘that’ refers to ‘a house’ (in the 1st sentence) ‘the house’ (in your sentence) and acts object of the verb ‘built’ in the relative clause.

    You can change like this: Jack built this house. It is now used by me.
    Jack built this house which is now used by me.(the relative pronoun ‘which’ acts as subject of the relative clause)

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    #4

    Re: Concept of relative pronoun

    Thanks, Tdol and sarat.

    English has the indefinite article and definite article. Japanese does not.
    Therefore, English learners are apt to make mistakes especially when they make sentences that contain relative pronouns.

    “This is a best seller that I bought yesterday.”
    A native speaker once told me that this expression is natural.
    She said: If I had told my friend on the phone that I had bought a book, then when I see them later I say, "This is the book I bought - the one I was telling you about." If I had never mentioned it before, I would show them the book and say. "This is a best seller I bought yesterday."

    When I told this to a friend of mine, he wondered if the following sentence was unnatural.
    “This is the best seller that I bought yesterday.”
    Can’t he say this when he talks to his friend about the best seller for the first time?

    Then I thought it would be a good idea for English learners to disintegrate such relative clauses to understand the usage of articles in the sentences, though native speakers do not integrate two sentences and make a relative clause or disintegrate relative clauses and understand the meanings (they don’t have to, because English is their mother tongue).

    “This is a best seller.” “I bought it yesterday.” This sentence order is natural. (Note: I don’t mean the expressions sound natural or normally used in usual conversation. Should I say the sentence order is logical?).

    Then I made a hypothesis: When a relative clause is separated into two sentences and the sentence order of the two sentences sounds natural, the original relative clause is okay. However, if the first sentence contains the definite article when the relative clause is separated, try reversing the sentence order and see if it sounds more logical. If it does, the original relative clause is okay.

    What about “This is the best seller that I bought yesterday.”?
    “This is the best seller.” “I bought it (the best seller) yesterday.” This sentence order is unnatural unless the person I am talking to knows about the fact that I bought the best seller.
    Let me reverse the order because the first sentence contains the definite article (see my hypotheses). The sentence order of “I bought a best seller.” and “This is the best seller.” is logical. Then I assume “This is the best seller that I bought yesterday” is okay, too, and can be used regardless of whether the listener knows that I bought it or not, if my hypothesis is correct.

    Did I confuse you?

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    #5

    Re: Concept of relative pronoun

    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post

    (1) This is a house. Jack built this house.
    (2) This is the house that Jack built.


    The followings are what I understand from your sentences;

    (1)
    This is a house.You point at a house.
    Jack built this house. You give a brand new info (This house was built by Jack) to whom you're speaking.


    (2)

    This is the house.You point at a house but this time, to whom you're speaking knows that Jack built a house.(but hasn't seen that before)

    The one that Jack built. Now, to whom you're speaking knows that this is the very house that was built by Jack.


    PS: Turkish,either, doesn't have those articles.

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