Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Telugu
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2016
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Relative pronouns

    Hi Team,

    I understand that relative clause/ relative pronoun follows the noun. Is it always true ?

    The below example gathered from Cambridge dictionary.

    Ex: We met somebody last night that did the speech therapy course two years after you.

    Here "last night" is placed between Noun and relative clause. Is it acceptable to write as below.

    Ex: We met somebody that did the speech therapy course two years after you last night.

    Is it acceptable to write indirect objects / compliments between noun and relative clause or after the relative clause.

    Another ex:

    I went to the shopping mall which was next to Church to buy party wear.
    Or
    I went to the shopping mall to buy party wear which was next to Church .

    Please explain for the both examples... Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by raviflat105; 27-May-2016 at 11:39.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 238
    #2

    Re: Relative pronouns

    The 'normal' position for a relative clause is immediately after the noun or nominal (called the ‘antecedent’), but it is usually possible to insert an adjunct, especially a short one like "last night", between the antecedent and the clause with no problem at all. This process is called 'postposing' which occurs whensome element (like a relative clause) is put at the end of the sentence instead of in its normal position. In the case of relative clauses, that means the clause is separated from the antecedent by some other element, like the adjunct "last night" in your first example.

    The main factor leading to the choice of postposing is usually the relative 'weight' (length and complexity) of the constituents involved. Heavier clauses are generally best placed right at the end of the sentence, which is why your second example, where the relative clause is far heavier than the adjunct, is less acceptable than your first one.

    Your third example with an infinitival clause at the end of the sentence is fine, but problems can arise when a relative clause is postposed over a non-finite clause, as in your last example. Relative clauses strongly resist being postposed over infinitivals, and the result is almost always unacceptable, as indeed your example is. Often, though, it is possible to postpose over a participial clause, as in I saw an official poll reported in today's paper that put Trump ahead of Clinton in the presidential race for The White House. Notice that the relative clause is considerably 'heavier' than the participial clause it is postposed over and it’s in its preferred position, at the end of the sentence.
    Last edited by PaulMatthews; 27-May-2016 at 17:32.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,621
    #3

    Re: Relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by raviflat105 View Post
    Hi Team,

    I understand that relative clause/ relative pronoun follows the noun. Is it always true[no space]?

    The below example is from Cambridge Dictionary.

    Ex: We met somebody last night who did the speech therapy course two years after you. In the US, we say "who," because it's a person. I don't know what they say in the UK. (But I guess the Cambridge Dictionary knows.)

    Here "last night" is placed between noun and relative clause. Is it acceptable to write it as below?

    Ex: We met somebody who did the speech therapy course two years after you last night. It's understandable. Better: "We met somebody last night who . . . ." Otherwise, we might think that the person you met took the course last night.

    Is it acceptable to write indirect objects / compliments between noun and relative clause or after the relative clause?

    Another example:

    I went to the shopping mall which was next to the church to buy party wear.

    Good. In the US, we would say "that," not "which." For us, "which" describes in more detail, while "that" identifies which one of several. (A comma always goes before "which" when it's used that way.

    More natural: "I went to the shopping mall next to the church."

    Or
    I went to the shopping mall to buy party wear which was next to the church[no space]. Bad. The mall is next to the church. The party wear is probably not.

    Please explain [Delete "the."] both examples... Thanks. " In advance" is understood. We can't answer until after you've asked!
    Only capitalize proper nouns and the first words of sentences.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Relative pronouns and relative clauses
    By ronao in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2015, 02:14
  2. Relative pronouns: who / which
    By gabriela vaz in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Mar-2006, 18:38
  3. relative pronouns
    By parvataneni in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2006, 11:28
  4. Relative pronouns
    By whl626 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2004, 17:32
  5. it is about relative pronouns
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Aug-2004, 20:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •