Rewrite the following sentences using relative clauses.
She wrote him a letter. It told him how sad she felt.
She wrote him a letter which/that told him how sad she felt.
She wrote him a letter telling him how sad she felt.
My son was very calm and quiet. He expected me to give him some pocket money.
My son, who expected me to give him some pocket money, was very calm and quiet.
My son, expecting me to give him some pocket money, was very calm and quiet.
The relative pronoun may sometimes be deleted if a present participle (verb-ing
) is used instead. It is also possible to omit the relative pronoun and the verb be
or have + been
when they are followed by a present or past participle:
The girl has a vicious tongue. She is waving at the boy.
The girl (who is) waving at the boy has a vicious tongue.
I took the easel. It had been made by me.
I took the easel (which had been) made by me.
Any application form will not be considered. It arrives after 12th March.
Sandy was too familiar with the interviewer. She hoped to be given the post.
Everybody wishes to have a drink. They can raise their hands.
Women should report this to the police. They are ill-treated by their husbands.
He sent us a fax. It said that the books were out of stock.
12 Revision exercise.
This factory must be closed down. Its waste is contaminating the river.
I wanted to buy an anorak. Its sleeves were royal blue.
His dreams had vanished. They gave him the strength and morale to carry on with his miserable life.
The chest of drawers belongs to my grandmother. I showed it to you.
This video cassette recorder is the last word in sound and picture reproduction. It's a gift from my mother.
We have some wine in the cellar. Most of it is mellow.
She has thirty pupils. Half of them are from abroad.
He coached a second division football team. This made him very happy.
The banker told me my account was in the red. I'm on familiar terms with him.
The refugees fainted. This was caused by malnutrition.
His little daughter caught a cold yesterday. She came home soaked through.
She always plays down everything. I do this. But she plays up everything. She does this.
The girl was fined for reckless driving. He has a date with her.
They need a house. They need to live in that house.
This is the largest passenger ship. It has ever plied across the Pacific Ocean.
He sent out a circular. It informed his clients about this issue.
Mr Jones is a confirmed bachelor. He says that it is not worth getting married.
Mr White was the last person. He learnt about his wife's illness after everybody in the family. He cannot get used to the idea of her death.
Donald is getting into that taxi. You want to speak to him.
Your irresponsible behaviour has undone many years of negotiations. This will annoy the president.
Mrs Carter was astonished by the news of their neighbours' divorce. Her husband has a viperish tongue.
Tom is very tight-fisted. He will not invite you for a snack lunch.
My neighbour's van has got a diesel engine. Its doors are pink.
Miss Scott left me speechless. Her father is a colleague of mine.
This settee is very uncomfortable, but beautiful. It belonged to my grandmother.
He introduced me to his fiancée. She told me she lost her parents in an accident at the age of six.
This is the town. I live here/in this town.
This is the town where I live.
This is the town in which I live.
This is the town (that/which) I live in.
He often goes to the place. They met there for the first time.
He often goes to the place (where/in which) they met for the first time.
He often goes to where they met for the first time.
He often goes to Newcastle. They met there for the first time.
He often goes to Newcastle, where/in which city they met for the first time.
I saw a wonderful place yesterday. This is the place.
This is the wonderful place (that/which) I saw yesterday.
There are not many places. You can spend the night there.
There are not many places where/in which to spend the night.
There are not many places (where/in which) you can spend the night.
She always works at night. Her children are sleeping then.
She always works at night, when her children are sleeping.
I remember several occasions. You told me that you regretted having met me on these occasions.
I remember several occasions on which you told me that you regretted having met me.
I remember (several occasions) when you told me that you regretted having met me.
There are times. I hate you then.
There are times (that/when) I hate you.
He will never forget that day. She asked him to join their lives for good then/that day.
He will never forget the day (that/when) she asked him to join their lives for good.
They became aware of what was going on then.
It was then that they became aware of what was going on. (emphatic)
I told you this because I love you.
The reason (why/that) I told you this is that I love you.
I told you this, but I can't tell you the reason.
I can't tell you (the reason) why I told you this.
Notice the usage of the relative adverbs "where", "when" and "why". After phrases such as "the day", "the place", etc., that is to say, terms referring to time or place, that
or no relative
is often used (or must be used) instead of a relative adverb. Observe, too, that a preposition at the end of the relative clause is at times necessary if we replace the preposition plus "which"
or no relative
at all, especially in words referring to place: This is the town (that) I live in
As regards the pronoun what
, it can replace the thing(s) that
I don't understand. You are saying understandable things.
I don't understand the things (that/which) you are saying.
I don't understand what you are saying.
can also act as a determiner after a preposition:
He could be wrong. If such were the case
, we should lose a fortune.
He could be wrong, in which case
we should lose a fortune.
He loves Catalonia. He spent the best years of his life there
He loves Catalonia, in which country/where
he spent the best years of his live.
She was complaining all the time. We were there then.
I have changed down to second gear because I want to park the car there.
The city is two hundred miles from here. I was born there.
Germany is her favourite country. Her mother was born there.
They could have crossed the border. If such were the case, we would never be able to catch them.
The woman is rolling in money. She's wearing black.
The woman (who is) wearing black is rolling in money.
The woman in black is rolling in money.
The boy is my son. He has a ball in his hands.
The boy who has a ball in his hands is my son.
The boy with a ball in his hands is my son.
The girl lives overseas. Her tracksuit is green.
The girl whose tracksuit is green lives overseas.
The girl in the grey tracksuit lives overseas.
The girl (who is) wearing a grey tracksuit lives overseas.
The man is snowed under with work. He's across the street.
The man (who is) across the street is snowed under with work.
A preposition may at times be employed instead of a relative clause. In some cases, we can also omit the relative pronoun plus the verb, as in the last instance above. Notice that all the examples seen in this section are of defining relative clauses.
The people said she looked terrific on that dress. They were at the wedding.
You can post the postcard in the postbox. It's just round the corner.
The woman is my German teacher. Her hair is curly.
I bought a cardigan. It has orange and white stripes.
Go and bring me the screwdriver. Its handle is black.
The soldiers who were exhausted wanted to spend the night there.
The soldiers, who were exhausted, wanted to spend the night there.
The first sentence suggests that only the ones who were exhausted wanted to spend the night there. The other one indicates that all of them were exhausted and wanted to spend the night there.
The children were severely punished. All of them had been getting into mischief.
The children were severely punish. Not all of them, but the ones who had been getting into mischief.
The garments got moth-eaten. They were all in this wardrobe.
The furniture is riddle with woodworm. Only the one which is in this room.
The dogs were put down. Only the ones that carried rabbies.
She needs love.
What she needs is love.
Love is what she needs.
It's love that she needs.
What is it that she needs?
Your friend betrayed you.
It was your friend that/who betrayed you.
He became angry.
It was he who became angry. (formal)
He rang the bell.
It was him that rang the bell. (informal)
Who was it that rang the bell?
He found her wailing this morning.
It was this morning that he found her wailing.
In order to emphasize a part of the sentence, we can use cleft sentences.
get on my nerves.
judge by appearances.
c The manor house
is surrounded with tall trees.
We want two Walkmans
She had the accident last night
17 Revision exercise.
I told her a pack of lies. She believed them all.
Luke is very talkative. His daughter is a friend of my son's.
I didn't change up to fifth gear because I wasn't driving fast enough.
The restaurant was very good. We ate there yesterday.
The lilies are flowering now. They are in my garden.
The bear is going to have cubs. Its fur is brown.
It was a sudden change. We didn't expect it.
The cheese is in the cellar. We left it there to mature. All of it tastes delicious.
i The dog
is whimpering under the table. (cleft sentence)
The man has travelled the world. He's carrying a walking stick.
She experienced an unpleasant situation. In this situation, she suffered a lot.
The place was infected with rats. We slept there last night.
I kept it secret because I didn't want to worry you.
He always picks me up at my place at half past six. At this time I'm usually studying.
The child is gifted at dancing. She's wearing a red skirt.
The lady won the lottery last month. She is waiting for the bus.
Teddy's missis won the lottery last month. She is waiting for the bus.
They have told me a lot of falsehoods since we first met. Most of them were unbelievable.
There were a lot of children. The oldest of them didn't like her.
He needs a woman. He wants to share his life with her.
There are many things. He has to do them.
You always finish your work very late. You are the last person.
You're ill-manered. This is irritating.
The manor house was built in the eighteenth century. Its roof is falling into decay.
Mr Green forgot his belongings on the bus. His wife has just passed away.
The people were fired. They said something wrong about the boss.
See also section 10.
sometimes occurs in conversation instead of that
, but should be avoided in formal contexts: The reason (why/that
) I told you this is because
I love you. For
is used before gerunds (verb-ing), nouns or pronouns:
The reason for me/my
late is that I was stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour. (My
The reason (why/that
) I'm late is that I was stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour.
In defining relative clauses, of course.
I don't know. I have to do something that I don't know
I don't know what to do
I don't know what
I have to do.
I don't know the things (that)
I have to do.
See unit 23, section 13.
The infinitive structure is also possible with other wh- words
I don't know how to do
I don't know how
I have to do it.
I don't know the way (that/in which)
I have to do it.
See unit 10, section 8.