Session 2

In Session 1, you learned about the people and stories behind some of London’s famous Blue Plaques. In this session, we will focus on adding important, additional information to sentences using relative clauses. We will look at the use and structure of these clauses and do some practice activities.

Sessions in this unit

Session 2 score

0 / 19

  • 0 / 6
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 7
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 3
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 4

A bit more about choosing the right relative clause

In activity 1, we learned that we use where for relative clauses about places and which or that for relative clauses about things.

Read the text and try the activity

Now, let’s look at these examples:

  • Mayfair is a London district where many famous people have lived.
  • It is a place which/that has many blue plaques.
  • This is the building where Handel and Hendrix rented apartments.
  • This is the building which/that is home to Handel House.

In two of these sentences, we have used which/that to describe places. Why?

Think about it – which relative clauses describe something that happens/happened in a particular place? And which relative clauses give information about the whole place?

We use where for relative clauses that give information about something in a place. In the Session 1 video, we saw a building. We heard that Handel and Hendrix lived in that building. They rented apartments there. So we say: “This is the building where Handel and Hendrix rented apartments.”

We use which when we are giving some information about the whole place. We see a building. We are told that it (as in all of it, the entire place) is home to Handel House. So, we can say: “This is the building which/that is home to Handel House.”

Let’s look at some more examples:

  • Broadcasting House is the building where the Learning English team work (They work there/in that building).
  • Broadcasting House is the BBC’s main building which was recently redeveloped (The whole building/It was redeveloped).
  • London is the city where you can see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the River Thames (all of these sights are there/in London).
  • London is the city which hosted the 2012 Olympic Games (The whole city hosted the event).

To do

It’s time for another quick quiz to test if you know when to use where, which, who and that.

Missing words

7 Questions

Read the sentences and choose the best word to fill the gap.

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Continue to the next activity to look at how we construct sentences with relative clauses.

Session Grammar

  • Defining relative clauses give us important information about the personthing or place that we are talking about.

    We use the following relative pronouns:

    who for people

    that and which for things

    where for places

    The police officer arrested the man who robbed the bank.

    These are the shoes that I bought in Tokyo.

    Summer is the season which I enjoy the most.

    David visited the place where we first met.