Defining Relative Clause
- The hotel that we stayed in wasn't bad. ("that we stayed in" tells the listener which hotel we are talking about; it defines the hotel)
Punctuation Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.
Relative pronouns The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses:
"Who", "whom" and "which" can be replaced by "that". This is very common in spoken English.
The "relative pronoun" can be omitted (ø) when it is the object of the clause.
- The mouse that the elephant loved was very beautiful.
- The mouse /ø the elephant loved was very beautiful.
"Whose" is used for things as well as for people.
- The man whose car was stolen.
- A tree whose leaves have fallen.
"Whom" is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use "who/that, or omit" the pronoun completely.
- The doctor whom/who/that/ø I was hoping to see wasn't on duty.
"That" normally follows words like "something, anything, everything, nothing, all, and superlatives".
- There's something that you should know.
- It was the best film that I've ever seen.
- The woman who lives in apartment No. 34 has been arrested.
- An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
- Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?
- The house /ø is being renovated.
- Has anyone seen the book I was reading?
- The document that I need has "important" written at the top.
- Let's go to a country where the sun always shines.
- A seaman is someone who works on a ship.
- The boy /who/whom/ø we met yesterday is very nice.