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C1 - Relative Clauses PART 1
POR RRHH Digital, 00:04 - 06 de Febrero del 2014

What level of knowledge is necessary to master a C2 level regarding the use of the Relative Clauses? Here you have a guide:

Defining Relative Clauses:

You can define people, things, places and activities with a relative clause beginning with who, that which, where, when, whose or whom. The information in the defining relative clause is important for the sense of the sentence and gives essential information about the subject or object of the sentence. The relative clause cannot be separated from the person or thing it describes.

  • You use who or that to define people:
    • As a subject pronoun.

The man who telephones me earlier was my husband.

In this sentence who refers to the subject = the man.

That is often used instead of who in everyday speech.

  • As an object pronoun.

The most interesting speaker who we met was Dr Fitouri.

In this sentence who refers to the object = Dr Fitouri.

You can leave out who/that when referring to the object of the relative clause: The most interesting speaker we met was Dr Fitouri.

  • You use which or that to define things, being which a more formal option:
    • As a subject pronoun.

There is a large garage which belongs to the house.

That was the dog that suffered the accident.

  • As an object pronoun.

It is the nicest car which/that I have ever seen.

You can leave out which/that when it is the object of the relative clause: It is the nicest car I have ever seen.

By 4:30, there was only one painting which hadn’t been sold.

  • You use where to define places and activities:

This is the street where I live.

The house where my parents live is near the city center.

If you leave out where, you have to add a preposition: The house my parents live in is near the city center.

Namaste is a greeting where you put your palms together and bow.

  • You use when for times:

There is hardly a moment when I don’t think of you, Sophia.

The time when I get up is usually around 8 o’clock.

You can usually leave out when in a defining relative clause: The time I get up is usually 8 o’clock.

  • You use whose for possession:

The guests whose rooms had been broken into complained to the manager.

  • Whom is the object form of who and is used formally in object clauses.

He was a person whom everyone regarded as trustworthy.

However, this is now felt too formal by most speakers and who is commonly used instead.

Whom has to be used if it follows a preposition.

To whom it may concern.

To whom am I speaking?

But in everyday use this is normally avoided, using instead: Who am I speaking to?

  • Sentences ending in a preposition or phrasal verbs:

In conversational English it is common to end a defining clause with a preposition.

That’s the house I used to live in.

I couldn’t remember which station to get off at.

He’s not someone who I really get on with.

  • Omitting which/who + be:

It may be possible to reduce a verb phrase after who/which to an adjectival phrase, especially to define phrases such as the only one, the last/first one.

Jim was the only one of his platoon who had not been taken prisoner.

Jim was the only one in his platoon not taken prisoner.

By 4.30, there was only one painting which had not been sold.

By 4.30, there was only one painting not sold.

The man who was entering the house shouted her name.

The man entering the house shouted her name.

The match which is taking place at the moment has a lot of controversy.

The match taking place at the moment has a lot of controversy.

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