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What is Relative Clause? What Are They?

Baca Juga

A relative clause adds extra information about one of the nouns in the main clause.
  • The relative clause goes immediately after the noun it relates to.
  • The relative pronoun goes at the beginning of the relative clause.
  • The relative clause pronouns are who (whom, whose), which and that.
  • The relative pronoun can be omitted unless it is the subject of the relative clause.


1. The relative pronoun as subject of a relative clause

1. 1. Relative clauses about people

Who (or that) links two separate ideas about the same person or people.
We join these two ideas by using who instead of the personal pronoun (he, she, or they) in the second clause.

Example :

There's the doctorShe used to live next door.

There's the doctor is a main clause, and She (who/that) is a personal pronoun of the doctor, while she used to live next door is a relative clause.


1. 2. Relative clause about things

Which (or that) links two separate ideas about the same thing or things. We join these two ideas by using which or that instead of it or they.

Example :

I'm writing about a camera. It doesn't work properly.

I'm writing about a camera is main clause, and It (which) doesn't work properly is relative clause.


2. The relative pronoun as object of a relative clause

2. 1. The relative pronoun goes at the beginning of the relative clause, even when it is the object of the clause.

Example 1 :

There's the doctor. I met him yesterday.

The doctor = him.

Him could be that, who.

Example 2 :

I am writing about a camera. I bought it in your shop.

A camera = It.

It could be that, which.

Who, whom, or that can all be used as a relative object pronoun referring to a person. Whom is (rare), but is more (correct) that who in (written English).


2. 2. Omitting the relative pornoun

We often omit the relative pronoun when it is the object of the relative clause. But remember, don't omit it when it is the subject. In these examples, the brackets (#) show where the pronoun is omitted.
  • There's the doctor (#) I met yesterday.
  • I am writing about a camera (#) I bought in your shop.

Note : This is sometimes called a zero relative pronoun. The clause is called a zero relative clause.


3. The position of the relative clause

A relative clause follows the noun it relates to, wherever the noun is in the sentence. Here the relative clause is in the subject :
  • The new cars have all been sold. They were made in Ireland.
  • > The new cars which were made in Ireland have all been sold.

From the sentences above, we can figure out that the main clause is the new cars ... have all been sold, and the relative clause is which were made in Ireland.