Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses Quiz
Relative Clauses Exercise -1
Relative Clauses Exercise -2
Relative Clauses Exercise -3
Relative Clauses Exercise -4
Relative Clauses Exercise -5
Relative Clauses Exercise -6
Relative Clauses

Unlocking the Power of Relative Clauses in English

Relative clauses are an essential component of English grammar that enable us to provide additional information about a noun within a sentence. They allow us to add descriptive details, provide clarifications, or make connections between ideas. In this article, we will delve into the world of relative clauses and explore their structure, usage, and importance in English writing.

1- Structure of Relative Clauses: A relative clause is a dependent clause that begins with a relative pronoun (such as “who,” “which,” “that,” “whom,” or “whose”) or a relative adverb (such as “where,” “when,” or “why”). It functions as an adjective and modifies a noun or pronoun in the main clause. For example, in the sentence “The book that I’m reading is fascinating,” the relative clause “that I’m reading” modifies the noun “book.”

2- Types of Relative Clauses: There are two main types of relative clauses: restrictive (defining) and non-restrictive (non-defining). Restrictive relative clauses provide essential information that is necessary to identify the noun being modified. They are not set off by commas. Non-restrictive relative clauses, on the other hand, provide additional, non-essential information and are set off by commas. For example, compare “The car that is parked outside is mine” (restrictive) with “My car, which is parked outside, is red” (non-restrictive).

3- Relative Pronouns and Adverbs: Relative pronouns (such as “who,” “which,” “that,” “whom,” or “whose”) and relative adverbs (such as “where,” “when,” or “why”) introduce relative clauses. The choice of the relative pronoun or adverb depends on the role it plays in the relative clause. For example, “who” is used for people, “which” for things, and “where” for places.

4- Clauses as Subject or Object: Relative clauses can function as the subject or object of a sentence. When the relative clause acts as the subject, it replaces the noun in the main clause. For example, “The person who called is my friend.” When the relative clause functions as the object, it provides additional information about the noun in the main clause. For example, “She bought the book that I recommended.”

5- Importance in English Writing: Relative clauses are valuable tools in English writing as they allow us to convey more precise and descriptive information. They help us avoid repetition, add complexity to our sentences, and provide clarity to our ideas. By utilizing relative clauses effectively, we can enhance the flow and coherence of our writing, making it more engaging and sophisticated.

In conclusion, relative clauses are an indispensable aspect of English grammar. By mastering their structure and usage, we can unlock the full potential of our writing. Whether you’re composing an academic essay, a professional email, or a creative piece, incorporating well-crafted relative clauses will elevate your language and captivate your readers.

Learn English Grammar: The Adjective Clause (Relative Clauses)


Complete the sentences using who – whom – whose – where – which.

1. What’s the name of the man ————– car you borrowed?
2. A cemetery is a place ————– people are buried.
3. A pacifist is a person ————– believes that all wars are wrong.
4. An orphan is a child ————– parents are dead.
5. The place ————– we spent our holidays was really beautiful.
6. This school is only for children ————– first language is not English.
7. I don’t know the name of the woman to ————– I spoke on the phone.
8. The man ————– is wearing glasses is a pop singer.
9. The window ————– was broken by the naughty boy will have to be repaired.
10. Mrs. Jackson, ————– we met in the supermarket yesterday, is my music teacher.
11. Rome is the city ————– he lived for ten years.
12. That was the day on ————– I first met Ann.
13.The girl, the brothers of ————– study in our school, looks very nice.
14. His new car ————– cost him a fortune, was really stunning.
15. I met the old lady ————– you were very kind to.
16. That’s the book about ————– I’ve heard so much.


1. whose 5. where 9. which 13. whom
2. where 6. whose 10. whom 14. which
3. who 7. whom 11. where 15. who
4. whose 8. who 12. which 16. which

Learn English Grammar: The Adjective Clause (Relative Clauses)

Exercise 2. Use the sentences in parentheses to make relative clauses.
Example: Tom’s father goes swimming every day. (Tom’s father is 78.) — Tom’s father, who is 78, goes swimming every day.

1. She told me her address. (I wrote her address down on a piece of paper.)
2. She showed me a photograph of her son. (Her son is a policeman.)
3. We decided not to swim in the sea. (The sea looked rather dirty.)
4. The new stadium will be opened next month. (The stadium holds 90.000 people.)
5. John is one of my closest friends. (I have known John for eight years.)
6. That man over there is an artist. (I don’t remember his name.)
7. Opposite our house there is a nice park. (There are some beautiful trees in this park.)
8. The storm caused a lot of damage. (Nobody had been expecting the storm.)
9. The postman was late this morning. (The postman is nearly always on time.)
10. We often go to visit our friends in Bristol. (Bristol is only 30 miles away.)
11. Mr. Edwards has gone into hospital for some tests. (His health hasn’t been good recently.)
12. Jack looks much nicer without his beard. (His beard made him look much older.)
13. I went to see the doctor. (The doctor told me to rest for a few days.)
14. Thank you for your letter. (I was very happy to get your letter.)
15. A friend of mine helped me to get a job. (His father is the manager of a company.)
16. Next weekend I’m going to Glasgow. (My sister lives in Glasgow.)
17. The population of London is now falling. (London was once the largest city in the world.)
18. I looked up at the moon. (The moon was very bright that evening.)
19. We spent a pleasant day by the lake. (We had a picnic by the lake.)


1. which 2. who 3. which 4. which 5. who (whom) 6. whose
7. where 8. which 9. who 10. which 11. whose 12. which
13. who 14. which 15. whose 16. where 17. which 18. which
19. where

Learn English Grammar: The Adjective Clause ( Relative Clauses)


Choose one word or phrase A ) , B ) , C ) , or D ) to complete the sentences.

Alexander Fleming, ————– received the Nobel Prize in 1945.

A ) who discovered penicillin
C ) he discovered penicillin.
B ) which discovered penicillin
D ) that discovered penicillin

John James Audubon, who was a naturalist and an artist, wrote great work ————– called “Birds of America”.

A ) which it is
B ) which is
C ) whom is
D ) is

Immigrants ————– after 1880 settled mainly in large cities.

A ) which came to America
C ) came to America
B ) they came to America
D ) who came to America

Hawaii, which is a part of a group of islands, ————– active volcanoes.

A ) that has
B ) which has
C ) has
D ) who has

In the ear, just above the cochlea, there are three small semicircular canals ————– as an organ of balance.

A ) that function together
C ) are functioning together
B ) function together
D ) they function together

Amsterdam, Holland, which is sometimes called Venice of Northern Europe ————– .

A ) which has many canals
C ) with many canals
B ) it has many canals
D ) has many canals

The Egyptians constructed walls and embankments ————– marvels even today.

A ) they are considered
C ) are considered
B ) which are considered
D ) who are considered

Ernest Hemingway, a novelist and short-story writer, developed a prose style ————– .

A ) who influenced an entire generation of authors
B ) influenced an entire generation of authors
C ) that influenced an entire generation of authors
D ) has influenced an entire generation of authors


1. A 2. ? 3. D 4. ? 5. A 6. D 7. ? 8. ?


Identify the relative clauses as restrictive (R) or nonrestrictive (N).

1. Marry Poppins, who was created by P.L. Travers, carries a perfectly rolled umbrella with a parrot handle.
2. Sports drinks, which are intended to replace fluids and nutrients lost during exercise, can be high in calories.
3. Josie is a triskaidekaphobiac, which means she has an abnormal fear of the number thirteen.
4. A multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, which is known as a MIRV, is a long-range missile with more than one warhead.
5. Anyone who has a legitimate business reason can run a credit check on you without your permission.
6. Milk which had not been pasteurized can cause sickness and even death.
7. The Becks’ dish antennae, which brings in hundreds of television channels, was very expensive.
8. The habits that are easiest to break are the good ones.
9. Our toaster consistently makes toast that is golden brown on one side and dark brown on the other.
10. An electric guitar has a solid body, unlike an acoustic guitar, which has a hollow body.

Learn English Grammar: The Adjective Clause (Relative Clauses)

Ex. 4

1. N 2. N 3. N 4. N 5. R 6. R 7. N 8. R 9. R 10.N


Define whether the following sentences are TRUE (T) or FALSE (F). Correct mistakes.

1. I like novels who deal with philosophical questions.
2. The company did not want to hire a man that his experience was so limited.
3. The family whose house burned down was on television.
4. She wore a dress what everyone considered extravagant.
5. Where can one catch the train, which goes to Flower Square?
6. The ship that we boarded in Rio was bound for Marseilles.
7. John did not want to do business with a man which had been in prison.
8. Take your car back to the man who sold it to you.
9. That is the baby which has been in the incubator for three months.
10.The woman that her photograph was in the paper is making a speech at the town hall tonight.

Ex 5

1. F, which/that 6. ?
2. F, whose experience 7. F, who/that
3. ? 8. ?
4. F, which/that 9. F, who/that
5. ? 10. F, whose photograph

Combine the TWO sentences to ONE, using a relative pronoun.

That is the man. I spoke to him the other day.

That is the man (who, whom) I spoke to the other day.

They elected a new mayor. His aim is to help the poor.

They elected a new mayor whose aim is to help the poor.

I really like the car. I bought it last year.

I really like the car (that, which) I bought last year.

Mr Black took over the company. His wife died last year.

Mr Black, whose wife died last year, took over the company.

The restaurant is the best in town. We usually eat there.

The restaurant where we usually eat is the best in town.

The film is about a woman. Her son mysteriously disappears.

This film is about a woman whose son mysteriously disappears.

That is the place. I grew up there.

That is the place where I grew up.

I met a woman. Her husband is a famous producer.

I met a woman whose husband is a famous producer.

The man was arrested yesterday. He escaped from prison a week ago.

The man who escaped from prison a week ago was arrested yesterday.

The bag is heavy. It contains a lot of presents.

The bag, which contains a lot of presents, is heavy.

The Marybelle Hotel is opening up again. I stayed there a few years ago.

The Marybelle Hotel, where I stayed a few years ago, is opening up again.

My friend’s father gave us the tickets. He owns a travel agency.

My friend’s father, who owns a travel agency, gave us the tickets.

Mr Honeywell is a good teacher. Everyone likes him.

Mr Honeywell is good teacher, whom everyone likes.
Mr Honeywell, who everyone likes, is a good teacher.

The exercise was very complicated. Nobody could do it.

The exercise which nobody could do was very complicated.

That’s the producer. His films are always a great success.

That’s the producer whose films are always a great success.

Make one sentence by changing the sentence in italics into a defining relative clause.

The relative pronoun can be the subject or the object of the relative clause.

They found the money. I dropped the money.
They found the money (which / that) I dropped
I broke the plate. The plate was a wedding present.
I broke the plate which / that was a wedding present.
The police arrested the man. I saw the man steal a handbag.
The police arrested the man (who / that) I saw steal a handbag
The Queen fired the chef. We had met the chef.
The Queen fired the chef (who / that) we had met.
She wrote to her friend. Her friend lives in Vietnam.
She wrote to her friend who / that lives in Vietnam.
Jill ate the sandwich. The sandwich had tomato and cheese inside.
Jill ate the sandwich which / that had tomato and cheese inside.
His friend lives in Scotland. His friend is a lawyer
His friend who / that is a lawyer lives in Scotland.
We called the secretary. I went to school with the secretary.
We called the secretary (who / that) I went to school with.
The CD is in my bag. The CD has Spanish music.
The CD which / that has Spanish music is in my bag.
The book is very interesting. The book is about Japanese culture
The book which / that is about Japanese culture is very interesting.
The bag was stolen. I bought the bag yesterday
The bag (which / that) I bought yesterday was stolen.
He likes films. The films come from Asia.
He likes films which / that come from Asia
My nephew broke the plate. I received the plate as a present.
My nephew broke the plate (which / that) I received as a present.
The chocolate was very old. We bought the chocolate last week
The chocolate (which / that) we bought last week was very old.
The TV programme was very funny. Lucy recommended the TV programme.
The TV programme (which / that) Lucy recommended was very funny.
The girl is on TV tonight. I met the girl yesterday.
The girl (who / that) I met yesterday is on TV tonight.

Relative Clauses Exercise -6

Complete these sixteen sentences to score your knowledge of RELATIVE CLAUSES.

I know a great little restaurant ——— we can get lunch.

a) that
b) who
c) where

Answer : c) where

The movie ——— we saw last week won three awards.

a) who
b) when
c) which

Answer : c) which

Sam knows a man ——— brother works for the president

a) who
b) whose
c) whom

Answer : b) whose

Do you know the reason ——— there are no penguins at the North Pole?

a) where
b) why
c) whose

Answer : b) why

Students ——— study hard get good grades.

a) when
b) whom
c) who

Answer : c) who

The people ——— names are on the list will stay here.

a) whose
b) where
c) that

Answer : a) whose

Food ——— is imported from other countries is expensive.

a) that
b) where
c) why

Answer : a) that

He had a feeling ——— something terrible was going to happen.

a) why
b) who
c) that

Answer : c) that

The bad weather is the reason ——— I was late for class yesterday.

a) whom
b) when
c) why

Answer : c) why

I want to borrow the book ——— you bought last month.

a) whom
b) that
c) when

Answer : b) that

The cookies ——— you baked are really delicious.
a) why
b) which
c) when

Answer : b) which

My home is a place ——— I can come home and relax after work

a) where
b) when
c) whom

Answer : a) where

My grandfather remembers the time ——— there was no television.

a) when
b) where
c) that

Answer : a) when

Most of the people ——— she met were from Sydney.

a) whom
b) when
c) whose

Answer : a) whom

I visited my uncle ——— lives in a different city.

a) who
b) which
c) when

Answer : a) who

Can you find the teacher ——— you talked to this morning?

a) whose
b) whom
c) when

Answer : b) whom

Unlocking the Power of Relative Clauses in English



Unlocking the Power of Relative Clauses in English


Conditional Sentences - If - Clauses Type I , II and III


Relative Clauses Learn English Grammar: The Adjective Clause TOEFL