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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

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    Activity 1
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    Activity 2
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    Activity 3
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    Activity 4

Activity 3

The structure of relative clauses

Putting relatives clauses together - in the right way!

We have looked at the uses and meaning of relative clauses as well as the words we begin them with (where, which, who and that). Now, it is time to look at the structure of relative clause sentences so you can produce these sentences yourselves.

Read the text and try the activity

Sentences with relative clauses are essentially two sentences that have been linked together. This helps us avoid long explanations or repeating words unnecessarily.

Look at these examples:

  • Mayfair is a district in London. It (the district of Mayfair) is famous for its expensive houses.

When we join these sentences with a relative clause, this is the result:

  • Mayfair is a district of London which/that is famous for its expensive houses*.

Here, the relative clause has joined the sentences together with which replacing it (we do not say … which it is famous for….)

*Be careful here! Although which comes directly after ‘London’ in the sentence, it refers to the ‘district of London’ (Mayfair), not the city itself.

  • Isaac Newton was a British scientist. He (Newton, the scientist) developed the theory of gravity.

Connected by a relative clause, these sentences become:

  • Isaac Newton was a British scientist who developed the theory of gravity.

Who replaces he in this example and refers to the scientist himself.

  • A white Fender Stratocaster guitar is on display in The Experience Music Project museum in Seattle. Jimi Hendrix used it (the guitar) at Woodstock.

When we connect the information in these sentences with a relative clause, we get:

  • A white Fender Stratocaster guitar which/that Jimi Hendrix used at Woodstock is on display in The Experience Music Project museum in Seattle.

The relative clause begins after the object it refers to (the guitar) and which/that replaces it from the separated sentences (we do not say …which Jimi Hendrix used it…)

To do

Let’s see if you can identify correctly used relative clauses with a quick quiz!

Right or wrong

6 Questions

Look at the following sentences. Are they grammatically right or wrong?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Right or wrong

6 Questions

Look at the following sentences. Are they grammatically right or wrong?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Next

So, that's almost it for all the grammar explanation today! It's time for 6 Minute Grammar, the programme that will help you put this all in place!

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.