Defining/Non-defining Relative Clauses

Relative clause – придаточное предложение, выполняющее в предложении функцию определения. Образуется с помощью относительного местоимения (who/which/that), которое ставится в начале придаточного предложения после определяемого слова. Выделяют два типа Relative clauses: Defining и Non-Defining.

Defining Relative Clause дает важную информацию и имеет большое значение для смысла предложения в целом. Defining Relative Clause не обособляется запятыми.

e.g. She’s the woman who cuts my hair.


Defining Relative Clause часто вводятся при помощи относительных местоимений who, which, that. Иногда эти местоимения опускаются. Также возможны whose, where, when.


Мы используем who/that, когда говорим о людях.


e.g. Pilot is a person who flies planes.


Мы используем which/that, когда говорим о предметах, животных, понятиях.

e.g. That is the skirt which I bought yesterday. 

Non- Defining Relative Clause дает не особо важную информацию, которая не влияет на смысл предложения в целом. Non- Defining Relative Clause обособляется запятыми.

e.g. Mr. Jacobs, who is the best accountant in our company, decided to retire.

В Non- Defining Relative Clause мы не можем использовать that вместо who/which.



   Exercise 1.

Complete with correct relative pronoun.

1.       I talked to a boy …. had that awful big dog.

2.       Mrs. Martin, …. is a shop assistant, asked me to  paint her house in blue.

3.       That is the shop …. I bought my new trainers.

4.       Jessica, …. car you can see over there, is the rudest girl in the world.

5.       Mr. Robinson, …. is the author of this year’s window displays, is incredibly nervous today.

6.       Thank you for the book …. was really exciting.

7.       The karaoke bar is a place … you can sing a song and relax.




Answers: 1.who, 2.who, 3.where, 4.whose, 5.who, 6.which, 7.where



   Exercise 2.

Combine two sentences using a relative pronoun.

1.       Kate looks like her sister Meg. Meg is a pop star.

2.       Do you know those children? The children are playing in the mud.

3.       I want to study English at this school. This school is the best in the city.

4.       This is the novel of Lev Tolstoy. Lev Tolstoy died in 1910.

5.       They called a doctor. The doctor lived nearby.

6.       Could you bring me an apple, please? The apple is on the table.

7.       My son broke the vase.  I got the vase as a present.




Answers: 1. Kate looks like her sister Meg, who is a pop star. 2. Do you know those children who are playing in the mud? 3. I want to study English at this school, which is the best at the city. 4.This is the novel of Lev Tolstoy, who died in 1910. 5. They called a doctor who lived nearby. 6. Could you bring me an apple which is on the table? 7. My son broke the vase which I got as a present.




   Exercise 3.

Match the sentence halves.

1)      Two men, who were very drunk,                                    a) where I was born.

2)      Please give me back the books                                     b) couldn’t walk at all.

3)      Do you know a good shoe shop                                     c) where people don’t celebrate Christmas.

4)      He writes the best poems                                              d) which I lent you last month.

5)      That is the country                                                        e) which I’ve ever read.

6)      Caroline is a girl                                                             f) where I can buy nice winter boots?

7)      Kharkiv is the city                                                          g) who is the worst student in my class.


Answers:  1 – b, 2 – d, 3 – f, 4 – e, 5 – c, 6 – g, 7 – a.

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