Relative Clauses : Defining and Non-Defining, (Especificativas y Explicativas)

We use relative clauses to give additional information about something without starting another sentence. By combining sentences with a relative clause, your text becomes more fluent and you can avoid repeating certain words.
How to Form Relative Clauses :
Imagine, a girl is talking to Tom. You want to know who she is and ask a friend whether he knows her. You could say:
A girl is talking to Tom. Do you know the girl?
That sounds rather complicated, doesn't it? It would be easier with a relative clause:
Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?

Relative Pronouns:

WHO: used to design people.
WHICH: used to refer to animals or things.
WHOSE: Possesion for people , animals, or things.
WHOM: object pronoun for people. (in non-defining relative clauses)
THAT: used for animals, people and things in defining relative clauses. It can substitute which or who in these sentences.
WHEN: refers to time expressions.
WHERE: refers to a place.
WHY: Refers to a reason.

Defining Relative Clauses:
(Especificativas en Español)
Defining relative clauses (also called identifying relative clauses or restrictive relative clauses) give detailed information defining a general term or expression. Defining relative clauses are not put in commas.

Imagine, Tom is in a room with five girls. One girl is talking to Tom and you ask somebody whether he knows this girl. Here the relative clause defines which of the five girls you mean.

Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?

Defining relative clauses are often used in definitions.

A seaman is someone who works on a ship.

Object pronouns in defining relative clauses can be dropped. (Sentences with a relative clause without the relative pronoun are called Contact Clauses.)

The boy (who/whom) we met yesterday is very nice.

Non-Defining Relative Clauses:
( Explicativas en Español)

Non-defining relative clauses (also called non-identifying relative clauses or non-restrictive relative clauses) give additional information on something, but do not define it. Non-defining relative clauses are put in commas.

Imagine, Tom is in a room with only one girl. The two are talking to each other and you ask somebody whether he knows this girl. Here the relative clause is non-defining because in this situation it is obvious which girl you mean.

Do you know the girl, who is talking to Tom?

Note: In non-defining relative clauses, who/which may not be replaced with that.

Object pronouns in non-defining relative clauses must be used.

Jim, who/whom we met yesterday, is very nice.

TEST ONE (4 ESO/ 4th course Secondary Compulsory Education in Spain)-
TEST TWO ( 1 and 2 Bachillerato/ 1st and 2nd course to attend University in Spain)
Grammar on the text: SAN FRANCISCO ( focus on relative clauses)
Grammar on the text: STONEHENGE (focus on relative pronouns)

4 comentarios:

  1. Hi, and Happy New Year! I just love this post. Relative clauses are so important. I think this is the point where you take your students to a different level. Language becomes more natural using relative clauses. It's a very important transition step and I like the way you apporach the subject. Your tests are very good too. I will link you on a future post dealing with grammar. Thanks for all the info!

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  4. Thanks for these exercises! I'm going to use them.