In English we use defining relative clauses to give important information about a person, place or thing.
We use :
"who" or "that" for people
"which" or "that" for things
"where" for places where an activity takes place
"whose" for possessives
"when" for times
Note : We don't use "what" in relative clauses!
eg. These are the jeans that I want to buy. NOT
These are the jeans what I want to buy.
In defining relative clauses, we can leave out "who", "that" or "which" when these words aren't the subject of the defining relative clause.
We never leave out "whose'" in defining relative clauses. We can leave out "where" if we add a preposition at the end of the relative clause.
We can leave out "when" if the time reference is clear.
Note : We don't use commas with defining relative clauses.
|Defining relative clause example sentences|
|Do you remember those girls we met last week?|
|What's the reason you don't want to leave the house?|
|Where I'm supposed to be having the meeting.|
|You could have asked if she knew the girl you were going to meet.|
|You know the people who take tourists sightseeing on bicycles?|
|And you could be the first man I've known who doesn't snore.|
|Yes, of course, he is the nicest man I've ever known!|
|You're the one who's been living here longer than me.|
|There is an old guy on the phone who can't hear anything I say...|
|Yes, because it's the only French restaurant we have been to.|
|And I tried to find the rice I was talking about.|
|They are the kind of people who like to party...|
|Do you remember the French restaurant we went to before?|
|It's nice to have a landlord who fixes things before we know about them!|
|What about the houses you found?|
|The one you told me shouted at you before...|
|I don't know, maybe I like seeing the canals going around the buildings.|
|Is there any news from the houses you went to see today?|