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C1 - Relative Clauses PART 2
POR RRHH Digital, 00:04 - 07 de Febrero del 2014

Non-defining Relative Clauses:

You use a non-defining relative clause who, which, where, when or whose to give extra information about the subject or object of a sentence. Relative pronouns cannot be left out in non-defining relative clauses. Commas are necessary around non-defining relative clauses when written, and pauses and special intonation are needed when spoken. You cannot use that in non-defining relative clauses.


  • You use who for people:

William Boyd, who has written many books, is one of my favorite authors.


  • You use which for things:

I gave him a glass of water, which he drank immediately.

The train, which was already an hour late, broke down again.

By 4:30, which was almost a closing time, nearly all the paintings ad been sold.

You can use which to refer to the whole situation described in the main clause:

My car is in the garage, which means I will get the bus to work.

There was nobody left in the train, which made me suspicious.

Phrases such as at which time/point, in which case, by which time, in which event can be used in the same way:

I watched the play until the end of the first act, at which point I felt I had seen enough.

A warning sign ‘Overheat’ may come on, in which case turn off the appliance at once.


  • You use where for named places:

I stopped in Mainsone, where my sister owns a shop.


  • You use when for named times:

Come back at 3:30, when I won’t be so busy.


  • You use whose for possession:

Several guests, whose cars were parked outside, were waiting at the door.


  • Clauses beginning with what or whatever:
    • What meaning ‘the thing’ or ‘things which’ can be used to start clauses.

I can’t believe what you told me yesterday.

What you should do is to write a letter to the manager.


  • Whatever, whoever, whichever can be used in a similar way.

You can rely on Helen to do whatever she can.

Whoever arrives first can turn on the heating.

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