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Relative clauses
 
Recognize a relative clause when you see one.
 
A relative clause, also called an adjective or adjectival clause will meet three requirements.
 
First, it will contain a subject and verb.
 
Next, it will begin with a relative pronoun [who, whom, whose, that, or which] or a relative adverb [when, where, or why].
 
Finally, it will function as an adjective, answering the questions What kind? How many? or Which one?
 
The relative clause will follow one of these two patterns:
  • Relative pronoun or adverb +  subject+ verb
  • Relative pronoun as subject + verb 

Which the customer did not accept.

  • Which: relative pronoun
  • customer :subject
  • did accept:verb 
  • not, an adverb, is not officially part of the verb.
Where Abi found pair of matching table lamps in fair condition.
  • Where :relative adverb.
  • Abi:subject.
  • found :verb.
That jumped from the dustbin.
  • That : relative pronoun functioning as subject.
  • jumped :verb.
Who had been up all night studying for his exams.
  • Who: relative pronoun functioning as subject.
  • studying:verb.

Avoid creating a sentence fragment.

A relative clause does not express a complete thought, so it cannot stand alone as a sentence.
 
To avoid writing a fragment, you must connect each relative clause to a main clause. Read the examples below.
 
Notice that the relative clause follows the word that it describes.
  • To calm his angry customer, the store manager offered an apology which customer did not accept.
  • We tried our luck at the same boot sale where Abi found the pair of matching table lamps in fair condition.
  • Sharon screamed when she saw the mouse that jumped out from the dustbin.
  • Peter said good morning to his brother David, who had been up all night studying for his exams.
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