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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Relative Clause (2)

Bella, who is only six, can speak five languages

Part A

Some relative clauses are used to add extra information about a noun, but this information is not necessary to explain which person or thing we mean:
• Valerie, who has died aged 90, escaped from Russia with her family in 1917.
• We received an offer of $80.000 for the house, which we accepted.

There are sometimes called non-defining relative clause to add information about a person or people:

We use who as the subject of the clause
• One of the people arrested was Mary Arundel, who is a member of the local council.

We use who or whom as the object of the clause, although whom is more formal and rarely used in spoken English:
• Professor Johnson, who(m) I have long admired, is to visit the university next week.

When we use a non-defining relative clause to add information about thing or group of things, we use which as the subject or object of the clause:
• These drugs, which are used to treat stomach ulcers, have been withdrawn from sale.
• That Masters course, which I took in 1990, is no longer taught at the college.

That is sometimes used instead of which, but some people this is incorrect, so it is probably safer not to use it. We also use which to refer to the whole situation talked about in sentence outside the relative clause:
• The book won’t be published until next year, which is disappointing.
• I have to go to hospital on Monday, which means I won’t be able to see you.

We can also use whose in a non-defining relative clause:
• Neil Adams, whose parents are both teachers, won first prize in the competition.

Notice that we don’t use zero relative pronoun in a non-defining relative clause.

1. The Southam Chess Club, which has more than 50 members, meets weekly on Friday evenings.
2. Dr Richard Newman, who is an aviation expert, was asked to comment on the latest helicopter crash.
3. The strike by train drivers, which ended yesterday, is estimated to have cost over $3 million.
4. John Graham’s latest film, which is set in the north of Australia, is his first for more than five years.
5. The police are looking for two boys aged about 14, who stole a computer from the office.
6. The hurricane, which caused such damage in the islands, has now headed out to sea.

Part B

When we want to add information about the whole or a part of a particular number of things or people we can use a non-defining relative clause with of which or of whom after words such as all, both, each, many, most, neither, none, part, some, a number (one, two, etc.; the first, the second, etc.; half, a third, etc.) and superlatives (the best, the biggest, etc.):
• The speed of growth of a plant is influenced by a number of factors, most of which we have no control over.
• The bank was held up by a group of men, three of whom were said to be armed.
• The president has made many visits to Japan, the most recent of which began today.

1. The film is about the lives of three women, all of whom are played by Angelina Jolie.
2. The island’s two million inhabitants, most of whom are peasant farmers, have been badly affected by the drought.
3. She has two older brothers, neither of whom went to university.
4. About 30 of her friends and relations, many of whom had travelled long distances, came to the airport to welcome her back.
5. The minister has recently visited Estonia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, all of which have large Russian minorities.
6. The fish, the biggest of which is only 2 cm long, are multi-colored.
7. Scotland have won their last five international matches, one of which was against England.

Part C

We can use the following phrases at the beginning of a non-defining relative clause: at which point/time, by which point/time, during which time, and in which case:
• It might snow this weekend, in which case we won’t go to Wales.
• The bandages will be taken off a few days after the operation, at which point we will be able to judge how effective the treatment has been.
• The next Olympics are in three years, by which time Stevens will be 34.

1. I might fail the test, in which case I’d probably re-sit it next year.
2. A bull charged towards the car, at which point I drove away quickly.
3. I didn’t finish work until 10 o’clock, by which time everyone had already gone home.
4. The meeting might go on for three or four hours, in which case I’ll be late home from work.
5. Sam started to tell one of his terrible old jokes, at which point I decided that I should go home.
6. I hadn’t seen Jane for nearly ten years, in/during which time I had got married and had two children.

Reference: Advanced Grammar in Use – Martin Hewings

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