Using relative clauses

Learning focus

To understand and use relative clauses and relative pronouns in sentences.

This lesson includes:

  • three videos

  • three activities

Learn

A relative clause can be used to give additional information about a noun (naming word). They can be used to create complex sentences as they are a type of subordinate clause.

Warm up, get moving and recap what relative clauses are by watching this video.

Learn about relative clauses with Max and Harvey.

Relative clauses come directly after the noun they are referring to. This might be at the end of a sentence or embedded into the middle of a sentence. If embedded into the middle of a sentence, the relative clause is usually surrounded by commas.

Watch this video to understand what relative clauses are and how they can be used in your writing.

Learn about relative clauses with this video from Bitesize KS2 English.

Relative pronouns

Relative clauses are introduced by a relative pronoun. The relative pronoun you will use depends on the person or type of thing you are writing about.

Relative pronouns include:

  • Who - a person or people
  • Which - an object, a place or animals
  • That - an object, a place or a person
  • When - a time
  • Where - a place

For example, look at these two simple sentences:

The Cubs took part in a challenge. They were in their house.

They were in their house is extra information, so this forms the relative clause.

Below, the relative pronoun, ‘who’, is used to create a relative clause so these two simple sentences can be connected.

The Cubs, who were in their house, took part in a challenge.

Watch this video to understand how relative clauses can be placed in different positions within a sentence.

Find out where relative clauses can be placed in a sentence.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Can you highlight the relative clauses within the text?

Activity 2

Now have a go at this quiz.
You need to read the sentences and click on the relative pronouns.

Activity 3

Write five sentences of your own that include relative clauses.

Here are some relative pronouns that you can use:

who, whose, where, when, which

Remember

Use commas correctly to punctuate your sentences. For example:

The children, who were in year 5, won the music competition.

I like the new sofa, which is very comfortable.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt to use relative clauses and relative pronouns.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you with grammar:

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