Speak About:



Past to Present


Abilities - Responsibilities

Asking Questions

Choosing the Right Phrase

Combining Verbs

Explaining Ideas

Describing Your World

Complex Ideas

Relating Ideas, People, Objects

Speaking about Objects

Wondering about Situations

Providing Extra Information

Defining and Non-defining Relative Clauses

Relative pronouns are used to connect two clauses in order to either define or provide additional information about a subject or an object.

who - persons
which - things
where - places
when - times
that - both persons and things
whose - possessive

Defining Relative Clauses

Defining relative clauses provide information which is essential to completely understand the sentence.


The government office which tracks fluctuations in the futures market is across the hall from a small financial newspaper.

Capital assets are necessary to start a business.

That is the building that our CTO had interest in acquiring.

Defining relative clauses identify persons or things that otherwise would not be automatically understood.

Relative Pronouns in Defining Relative Clauses

Person Thing
Subject who, that which, that
Object that, who, whom that, which
Possessive whose whose, of which

Non-defining Relative Clauses

Non-defining relative clauses provide information which is not essential, but adds additional information.


Sharon, the loan officer, will review your income statement in the morning.

The expiration date, which was clearly posted, was cited in the lawsuit.

John, who has traded futures on the exchange, was chosen as PTA president.


Correct punctuation is essential in non-defining clauses. A comma is placed both before and after the non-defining clause.

Relative Pronouns in Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Person Thing
Subject who which
Object who, whom which
Possessive whose whose, of which