Lesson 1 - Grammar - POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

From Studia Informatyczne

Defining / Non-defining relative clauses

Warm-up
Look at the pictures and try to define theperson/place/thing you see (imagine you are going to tell your friend about the things you see without mentioning their actual names!).

AGrafika:mailman.jpgBGrafika:dentist.jpgCGrafika:hospital.jpg
DGrafika:zoo.jpgEGrafika:vacuum.jpgFGrafika:kettle.jpg

Which words/phrases did you use to describe each picture? (put them down)
a).......................................................
b).......................................................
c).......................................................
d).......................................................
e).......................................................
f).......................................................


Compare the sentences below. How do they differ?
1a Jane is the girl (who) I told you about.
1b Jane, who is probably the brainiest girl in our class, got another A in a test!
2a The car (that/which) John has just bought doesn’t look reliable.
2b John’s car, which he has had for ages, breaks down very often.

Now look at the grammar explanations. Were your guesses correct?



DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES
These clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about.
Example:
Young boys who marry much older women are very rare.

Punctuation
Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.

Relative pronouns in defining clauses

PersonThingPlaceTimeReason
Subjectwho/thatwhich/that
Objectwho/whom/that/øwhich/that/øwherewhenwhy
Possessivewhosewhose

    Notes:

  1. The relative pronoun can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause:
    The girl that John loved was very beautiful.
    OR The girl John loved was very beautiful.
  2. Whose is used for things as well as for people:
    The man whose car was stolen.
    A tree whose leaves have fallen.
  3. Whom is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use who/that, or omit the pronoun completely:
    The doctor whom/who/that/ø I wanted to see wasn't at the hospital.
  4. That normally follows words like something, anything, everything, nothing, all, and superlatives:
    There's something that you should know.
    It was the best film that I've ever seen.


NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES The information in these clauses tells us more about someone or something, but is not essential to identify them or it. Compare:
1. Elephants that love mice are very unusual. (This tells us which elephants we are talking about).
2. Elephants, which are large and grey, can sometimes be found in zoos. (This gives us some extra information about elephants - we are talking about all elephants, not just one type or group).

Punctuation
Non-defining relative clauses are always separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
Relative pronouns in non-defining clauses

PersonThingPlace
Subjectwhowhich
Objectwho/whomwhichwhere
Possessive whose

Notes:

  1. In non-defining clauses, you cannot use that instead of who, whom or which.
  2. You cannot leave out the relative pronoun, even when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause:
    He gave me the letter, which I read immediately.
  3. The preposition in these clauses can go at the end of the clause:
    This is Stratford-on-Avon, which you have all heard about.
  4. Non-defining clauses can be introduced by expressions like all of, many of, none of, two of, etc. + relative pronoun:
    There were a lot of people at the party, many of whom I had known for years.
    He was carrying his belongings, many of which were broken.
  5. The relative pronoun which at the beginning of a non-defining relative clause can refer to all the information contained in the previous part of the sentence, rather than to just one word.
    Chris did really well in his exams, which was a big surprise.


Read the text below and find all the defining and non-defining relative clauses. Write them in the appropriate column:

Mark stood outside number eightLincoln Road, where he had worked for almost ten years, and tried to see if any of his colleagues were in the office. The grey blinds that shaded the office were completely drawn. The parking lot, where he used to leave his ford mustang every morning, was almost empty. None of the cars that were parked there seemed familiar. He took a deep breath and walked up to the main door, which still had the familiar name displayed on it. The main hall, where he used to go down for a cigarette, was half lit and empty save for a guard. The man, who probably remembered Mark, bowed and smiled pleasantly. At the end of the corridor, loomed the bar where he had met Jane, it was now closed...

Defining relative clausesNon-defining relative clauses
..............
..............
..............
..............
..............

Answer

Defining relative clausesNon-defining relative clauses
The grey blinds that shaded the office were completely drawn.Mark stood outside number eightLincoln Road, where he had worked for almost ten years, and tried to see if any of his colleagues were in the office.
None of the cars that were parked there seemed familiar.The parking lot, where he used to leave his ford mustang every morning, was almost empty.
At the end of the corridor, loomed the bar where he had met JaneHe took a deep breath and walked up to the main door, which still had the familiar name displayed on it.
The main hall, where he used to godown for a cigarette, was half lit and empty save for a guard.
The man, who probably remembered Mark, bowed and smiled pleasantly.

Look at the clues below and rewrite them to form defining and non-defining relative clauses:

  1. I put a watermelon in the fridge. Where is it?
  2. Sue was reading a newspaper. Has anyone seen it?
  3. My grandfather came from the Netherlands. He is dead now.
  4. She’s studying chemistry. Many people hate chemistry.
  5. The Browns live in a house. Its roof is leaking.
  6. I’ve just talked to Mary. Her husband works in Oxford.
  7. Phil has thousands of books. He has read most of them.
  8. A washing machine is a home appliance. It helps you wash your clothes.

Answer

  1. Where is the watermelon (that/which) I put in the fridge? (defining)
  2. Has anyone seen the newspaper (that/which) Sue was reading? (defining)
  3. My grandfather, who is dead now, came from the Netherlands. (non-defining)
  4. She’s studying chemistry, which many people hate. (non-defining)
  5. The Browns live in a house whose roof is leaking. (defining)
  6. I’ve just talked to Mary, whose husband works in Oxford. (non-defining)
  7. Phil has thousands of books, most of which he has read. (non-defining)
  8. A washing machine is a home appliance which/that helps you wash your clothes. (defining)

Write definitions for the following things and places:

a towel, a bookshelf, a bus driver, a car, a school, a supermarket, a swimming pool, a teacher

Example: A library is a place (that/which) you can borrow books from.
or A library is a building in which books are kept.

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