Video appunto: Defining/non defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses

-Defining relative clauses are used to add essential information to a phrase.
-The relative pronouns and adverbs which introduce defining relative clauses are:

WHO for people; the woman who was waiting at the bus stop was nervous.
WHICH for things; the bag which contained the money was red
THAT for people and things; the film that we saw was horrible
WHOSE for possession; the gentleman whose mobile was ringing didn't answer.

WHERE for places; the town where you live is beautiful.

-When two successive phrases have an element in common, we use these clauses to connect the phrases.
Melbourne is a city. My sister lives in Melbourne.
Melbourne is the city where my sister lives.


We can omit the relative pronoun when it refers to the object of the relative clause.
That is the bus stop (that/which) I told you about.

Non defining relative clauses

-Non defining relative clauses give additional, non-essential information. They must have a relative pronoun, and are preceded and followed by a comma.

We use:
-WHO for people; Bill, who is a programmer, lives near Ottawa.
-WHICH for things; the maths lesson, which was difficult, lasted two hours.
-WHOSE for possession; Amber, whose mother is a teacher, lives here.

-Non defining relative clauses CAN'T omit the object relative pronoun:
My new tablet, which I bought last year, is user-friendly.

-Non defining relative clauses never use that!
-we can use "which" to refer tothe entire preceding clause. In this case, they are always preceded by a comma; the comma cannot be omitted.
They missed the lecture on technology, which was a pity.
-If the verb in the relative clause needs a preposition, we put it at the end of the clause and we can omit the relative pronoun in informal speech
The woman, (who/whom) Angela was speaking to, is Canadian.
-If the verb in the relative clause needs a preposition, we cannot omit the relative pronoun in formal language.
The woman, to whom Angela was speaking, is Canadian.