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 organization which abandoned standard lobbying techniques.
That is the stewardship project which was chosen by our CTO.
That is the racial group which is most likely to engage in stereotyping.
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.
The seed for the winter wheat, which is a vital crop in developing countries, was often eaten rather than planted."
Student Development and Activities, which is the most popular student group on campus, is committed to helping students enhance their leadership skills."
The survey, which we printed on recycled paper, verifies our members preferences."
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|