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

Relative clauses questions


  1. Are you the type of person who is always using their phone?
  2. Is there anything that you like telling people when you first meet?
  3. Can you name a place where you always feel happy and relaxed?
  4. Can you name a time when you relied on technology to get by?
  5. Are you someone whose mobile is always on?
  6. What is the area in which you grew up like?
  7. Can you tell us why you think technology has improved our lives?
  8. Do you have any friends that you met online?
  9. Is there anything that you do when you want to relax?
  10. Name the person who you talk to when you want to cheer up
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