Unit 15: From Handel to Hendrix
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- 1 Nice to meet you!
- 2 What to wear
- 3 Like this, like that
- 4 The daily grind
- 5 Christmas every day
- 6 Great achievers
- 7 The Titanic
- 8 Travel
- 9 The big wedding
- 10 Sunny's job hunt
- 11 The bucket list
- 12 Moving and migration
- 13 Welcome to BBC Broadcasting House
- 14 New Year, New Project
- 15 From Handel to Hendrix
- 16 What's the weather like?
- 17 The Digital Revolution
- 18 A detective story
- 19 A place to live
- 20 The Cult of Celebrity
- 21 Welcome to your new job
- 22 Beyond the planets
- 23 Great expectations!
- 24 Eco-tourism
- 25 Moving house
- 26 It must be love
- 27 Job hunting success... and failure
- 28 Speeding into the future
- 29 Lost arts
- 30 Tales of survival
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.
Session 2 score
0 / 19
- 0 / 6Activity 1
- 0 / 7Activity 2
- 0 / 6Activity 3
- 0 / 0Activity 4
Defining relative clauses
This is a Unit which focuses a lot on relative clauses. By now you are people who have probably read a lot about relative clauses! Time to take a break from the reading - listen to Finn, Alice and Catherine in 6 Minute Grammar. They will help you put all this relative clause information in order.
Listen to the programme and see if you can work out the connection with this picture of shoes.
Listen to the audio
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Finn.
And me, Alice. Hello.
Today we're talking about defining relative clauses.
That's right: defining relative clauses. We'll explain what they are...
We'll look at how they work...
We'll hear lots of examples...
And we'll have a quiz to practice what we've learned. So: on with the show. Let's start by looking at what relative clauses are, and how we make them.
Yes. Defining relative clauses give information about a noun in a sentence or question. They define - or, give more information about - the thing that we are talking about. Here's Catherine with our first example:
Have you seen the shoes that I bought today?
The defining relative clause is the phrase that I bought today - and it tells us which shoes Catherine is talking about.
That's right. Catherine probably has several pairs of shoes: adding the phrase that I bought today tells us exactly which shoes she means.
So: let's have a closer look at the grammar of relative clauses. We start with a noun and then we add a relative pronoun, such as who or that, plus a verb phrase. The relative pronoun who is for people... Catherine.
The man who owns this restaurant is my best friend.
So the defining relative clause who owns this restaurant tells us exactly which man is Catherine's best friend.
The pronoun which is for things, and we use that for both people and things. Here's an example with which.
Spring is the season which I enjoy the most.
Ahh - me too! So, to give more information about a thing - the season - we add the relative pronoun - which, plus the verb phrase I enjoy the most.
Here's another example.
That woman is the doctor who saw me yesterday.
This time, the pronoun who refers to the doctor. And the doctor is the subject of the verb saw - the doctor saw Catherine.
Right. Who refers to the subject of the verb: The doctor who saw me yesterday. Now this next example is slightly different: listen carefully.
That woman is the doctor who I saw yesterday.
Again, who refers to the doctor. But this time, the doctor is the object of the verb saw - Catherine saw the doctor.
So the rule is: when the pronoun refers to the subject, it's:
She's the doctor who saw me yesterday.
And when the pronoun refers to the object, it's:
She's the doctor who I saw yesterday.
Now some people like to use whom instead of who in object relative clauses:
...the doctor whom I saw...
And that's fine. Whom is correct here.
Although who is probably more common in spoken English these days.
You're listening to BBC Learning English.
And we're talking about defining relative clauses.
And now it's quiz time. They're all about Harry Potter, these questions. So if you like the film it may be easier for you... I'll say some key words and you have to make them into a sentence with a defining relative clause. Here's the first one. Robbie Coltrane - actor - play - Hagrid.
Robbie Coltrane is the actor who played Hagrid... in Harry Potter.
And another one: Hogwarts - school - Harry Potter - go.
Hogwarts is the school that Harry Potter went to.
Very good. Last one: Hermione - marry - Ron Weasley.
Ooh. Hermione is the girl who married Ron Weasley.
Or as an object clause it's:
Hermione is the girl who Ron Weasley married.
Well done if you got those right. Now before we finish, there's just time to mention that, in everyday English, it's fine to leave out the pronoun completely when the relative pronoun is the object of the relative clause.
For example: Hermione is the girl who Ron Weasley married becomes:
Hermione is the girl Ron Weasley married.
Ahhh. Don't you think she should have married Harry?
Well, I really think its Hermione's choice, Alice.
So, that's the end of our brief look at defining relative clauses. They begin with a pronoun and go after the noun that you want to define.
Yes. There's more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.
End of Session 2
We hope Session 2 helped you understand more about the use, meaning and structure of relative clauses. We will put this knowledge into practice in Session 3 when we take a closer look at Handel House, which is the museum in Handel's former London home, and learn more about rock music legend Jimi Hendrix.
Defining relative clauses give us important information about the person, thing 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.