Actually, I cannot find a good answer about where the relative clause is used.

1) There are a lot of people who do not like science-fiction movies in the world.

2) There are a lot of people in the world who do not like science-fiction movies.

Which one is true or convenient ?

  • 1
    The second. "people in the world "is a noun phrase and if you break it, the sentence has no sense.
    – V.V.
    Mar 9, 2018 at 14:44
  • What do you mean by "where it is used"? Do you mean placed correctly in the sentence?
    – Lambie
    Mar 9, 2018 at 14:45
  • I don't think there's a rule, but there's common sense.
    – V.V.
    Mar 9, 2018 at 14:46
  • 2
    In general it is possible for a relative clause to occur in postposed position, at the end of the clause containing its antecedent -- provided, of course, that it does not cause confusion as to what is the intended antecedent. In fact, of your two examples, placing the locative item adjacent to the antecedent is the only sensible option.
    – BillJ
    Mar 9, 2018 at 14:50
  • 1
    @BillJ I must disagree with "only sensible option". It is slightly simpler and clearer, but the other option is by no means out of bounds or wrong. Sep 29, 2019 at 4:18

2 Answers 2


Generally sentences are easier to understand when subjects and qualifiers are close together. In your example, this is option 2, where it refers to people in the world, which I'm guessing is the intention. The first example sounds like it's referring to science fiction movies in the world, not people, which is a possibility, if other planets have science fiction movies, and why not? So it comes down to who "in the world" is referring to. (Please ignore my dangling participle.)


Either is acceptable, and both forms get used. There is no rule mandating either, and both your (1) and (2) make sense. (1) is slightly ambiguous, because it may at first appear that "in the world" is qualifying "movies" rather than "people". But a moment's thought or further context makes this clear enough. (2) is slightly more natural, because it is simpler. The use of (1) might be an intended stylistic choice.

  • The 'rule' is that a postposed relative clause should be avoided if it would result in possible confusion as to what was the intended antecedent. Call it common sense, if you like. Your third and fourth sentences say it all.
    – BillJ
    Sep 29, 2019 at 7:32
  • "There are a lot of people who do not like science-fiction movies in the world." I guess they prefer them on the moon. The confusion is not about the relative clause at all here.
    – Lambie
    Jul 24, 2021 at 18:36

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