Adjective clauses

Hi sweetie,

Now we will talk about adjective clauses (also known as relative clauses), which are something quite common in English. For instance, it is so common that there’s one in the last sentence…


What is a relative clause?

Relative clauses join two English sentences, or they give more information about something.

Exemples:

  • Starting with two sentences, like: I bought a new car. It is very fast.
    We can get one, like: I bought a new car that is very fast.
  • Two sentences: She lives in New York. She likes living in New York.
    Transformed into one: She lives in New York, which she likes.

Who / Which / That

Typically, in order to create relative clauses, we can use who, which or that.

  • Who for people;
  • Which for things;
  • That for people or things.

Examples

  • I like the woman who lives next door.
  • I live in London, which has some fantastic parks.
  • I’m looking for a secretary who / that can use a computer well.
  • She has a son who / that is a doctor.
  • We bought a house which / that is 200 years old.
  • I sent a letter which / that arrived three weeks later.
  • The people who / that live on the island are very friendly.
  • The man who / that phoned is my brother.
  • The camera which / that costs £100 is over there.
  • The house which / that belongs to Julie is in London.
  • She loves the chocolate which / that I bought.
  • We went to the village which / that Lucy recommended.
  • John met a woman who / that I had been to school with.
  • The police arrested a man who / that Jill worked with.

Whose

We use whose to replace a possessive. It can be used for people and things.

Examples:

  • The dog is over there. The dog’s / its owner lives next door.
    The dog whose owner lives next door is over there.
  • The little girl is sad. The little girl’s / her doll was lost.
    The little girl whose doll was lost is sad.
  • The woman is coming tonight. Her car is a BMW.
    The woman whose car is a BMW is coming tonight.
  • The house belongs to me. Its roof is very old.
    The house whose roof is old belongs to me.

Where / When / Why

Sometimes use the question words can be used to form adjective clauses.

Examples:

  • I live in a city. I study in the city.
    I live in the city where I study.
    I live in the city that / which I study in.
    I live in the city in which I study.
  • The bar in Barcelona is still there. I met my wife in that bar.
    The bar in Barcelona where I met my wife is still there.
    The bar in Barcelona that / which I met my wife in is still there.
    The bar in Barcelona in which I met my wife is still there.
  • The summer was long and hot. I graduated from university in the summer.
    The summer when I graduated from university was long and hot.
    The summer that / which I graduated from university in was long and hot.
    The summer in which I graduated was long and hot.

Exercise

Try the following exercises.

Beijo do pai!

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