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.
That is the search engine which was used by our CTO for ego surfing.
That is the shell which was chosen by our sysadmin.
This is the method we use to debug the program which was chosen by our CEO.
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.
"Shelly, who has never been to France, was tasked with reloading the toner cartridge. "
"Tom, who has three iPads, was chosen to write the document outlining the four layers of tcp/ip."
"Bob, who loves Apple computers, was set the task of defragging the data."
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|