Watch the following video about Relative clauses. Then read the explanation I've included below for you.
RELATIVE CLAUSES are subordinate clauses which add more information about the people or things we're talking about without saying their names again:
That is the house. The house was built on the main road.
That is the house which was built on the main road.
RELATIVE PRONOUNS AND ADVERBS introduce this type of subordinate clauses following their antecedents, that is the noun which they refer to.
DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES add essential information about their antecedents. Without this information, the main clause doesn't make sense. These two clauses are joined without commas, because they complement each other.
The man who is coming will bring us the present.
- THAT can substitute WHO, WHICH and WHOM, but only in this type of relative clauses.
The house that was so old was rebuilt.
- After a preposition we use WHOM for people and WHICH for things. However, we often write the preposition at the end of the relative clause, above all when speaking.
This is the boy about whom your were asking me.
This is the boy (who) you were asking me about.
- We can omit the relative pronoun if it isn't the subject of the subordinate clause.
The man (whom / that) I met at the party told me the truth.
- The relative WHOSE is used to indicate possesion. It is never subject and cannot be never omitted.
The horse whose leg you broke had to be killed.
- The relative WHAT is used when the antecedent is implied.
He is always asking what should be done.
NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES add an explanation or additional information which is not essential to understand the main clause. If we delete this type of relative clauses, the main clause is still understood.
The European Police Force, which began workng in 1999, is called Europol.
- Antecedents in these clauses are usually proper nouns, a things or they have a possessive such as MY, HIS, HER, the definite article THE, or some demonstrative such as THIS, THAT, THESE, THOSE.
My house, which is quite comfortable, needs redecorating.
- This type of relative clauses are written between commas.
- They never use the relative THAT.
- Their relatives are never omitted.
- They are often used in formal and written style.
RELATIVE ADVERBS are also used with relative clauses:
The house where I was born was sold last year. - PLACE.
I remember the time when we were children. - TIME.
The reason why he is so sad is a mystery to us. - REASON.
Now, let's practice with some exercises:
Finally, we're going to listen to a song by ColdPlay in which we can find relative pronouns and different exercises: