Relative clauses are used to give us more information about people or things:


There are two types of relative clause:

  1. Defining clause. This is necessary information that is needed to understand meaning

This is the book that I bought from the second hand book shop on the high street.

  1. Non-defining clause. This is to add unnecessary information.

This is the house, where I called you from yesterday, where I will celebrate my birthday.


Pronouns and their differences:

Who/that (people) – I can see a man who is jogging in the park.

Whom (preposition + person) – This is my friend with whom I usually work out. [formal]

Whose (possession) – These are my students whose coursework is exceptional.

Where (place) – This is the bar where I normally have breakfast.

IN WHICH (PLACE) – This is the neighbourhood in which I grew up.

When (time/date) – That was the day when we celebrated our wedding.

Which/that (thing) – These are the books which were ordered by mistake.

Why (reason) – That is the reason why I always repeat myself.


Be careful: 

DO NOT USE THAT WITH (COMMAS) – This is the pen, that was expensive, we bought from Harrods.

USE WHICH INSTEAD – This is the pen, which was expensive, we bought from Harrods.

Download gaps fill worksheet in PDF HERE

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