This blog has been designed to provide information about the activities held at the social studies bilingual sections in CPI Tino Grandío (Guntín,Spain). The English language and Social Studies teachers have elaborated most of the resources you can see but our "auxiliares de conversa" also have their own page and posts. Therefore everyone is invited to have a look .

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Relative clauses


  • who → when we talk about people
  • which → when we talk about things
  • whose → instead of his/her or their
  • We also use that for who/which.

We leave out the relative pronoun (who/which/that) if it is not the subject in the sentence.
  • That is the book I like.
If there is a verb after the relative pronoun who/which/that, do not leave out the relative pronoun.
  • He is the teacher who spoke to us yesterday morning.
Examples with the relative pronoun who
1st part of the sentence2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe boywhowasat the party yesterday.
who is subject in the sentence, do not leave it out.
1st part of the sentencePronoun2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe boywhoImetat the party yesterday.
Thisisthe boycan be left outImetat the party yesterday.
who is not subject in the sentence, it can be left out.

Examples with the relative pronoun which/that

1stpart of the sentence2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe bikewhichwasin the shop window.
which is subject in the sentence, do not leave it out.
1st part of the sentencePronoun2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe bikewhichIboughtyesterday.
Thisisthe bikecan be left outIboughtyesterday.
which is not subject in the sentence, it can be left out.


To understand the distinctions between that and which it is necessary to understand defining (restrictive) and non-defining (non-restrictive) clauses.
Learning these distinctions is one technical aspect of grammar that every user of English should understand, because it is at the root of an assortment of grammatical errors.


non-defining, or non-restrictive, clause is one that can be regarded as parenthetical:
My house, which has a blue door, needs painting.
The italicized words are effectively an aside and could be deleted. The real point of the sentence is that the house needs painting; the blue door is incidental.
Use commas to set off non-defining elements, which contribute to, but do not determine, the meaning of the sentence. These elements may be clauses (groups of words that contain a subject and a verb) or phrases (groups of words that do not contain both a subject and a verb).


defining, restrictive, clause is one that is essential to the sense of the sentence.
My house that has a blue door needs painting.

Here the blue door is a defining characteristic, it helps to distinguish that house from my other houses.
Defining clauses or phrases are not separated off with commas. A restrictive clause or phrase is essential to the meaning of the sentence; it defines the word it modifies by ›restricting‹ its meaning. Eliminating a restrictive element from a sentence changes its meaning dramatically.


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