I want to ask about using Double Relative Clause in one sentence.

To go straight to the question, I will show the sentence right away:

'Patients have to treated by people who have qualified clinical skills which are continuously monitored and evaluated.

Is this a recommended way to put 2 relative clauses in one sentence.

Thank you!

  • 1
    Yes. The sentence is fine. But I think you mean "have to be treated". Relative clauses can also be stacked and modify the same head as in "The thing which frightened Mary which surpised John pleased Paul". Jan 9, 2019 at 5:30
  • Hi user178049. Thank you for your feedback. Can I ask to clarify with me using another example: 'The person who likes vegetables who hates oranges who wears white T-shirt is Paul? In my example and your example, should there be any coma or 'and', like 'The person who likes vegetables, who hates oranges, and who wears white T-shirt is Paul? For your example: 'The thing which frightened Mary and surprised John pleased Paul'. Thank you! Jan 10, 2019 at 2:20
  • Yes. It's fine. Adding a comma would make it a non-restrictive relative clause. "and surpised John" is OK too. Jan 10, 2019 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can combine relative clauses this way.

I recommend changing "which" to "that" in a restrictive clause. This is a style recommendation rather than a strict rule. Your example uses a restrictive clause, because the clause specifies that the skills of the qualified people should be monitored. An nonrestrictive clause would imply that qualified clinical skills are always monitored.

  • Hi Tashus. Thank you for your useful feedback. However, could you help me to clarify the link you sent me? I've already read it, but am not sure whether I understand it the right way. Jan 10, 2019 at 1:55
  • According to what the link said and what you said, you mean that if I use 'that', it will empathise that ''skills continuously monitored and evaluated'' belong to the 'people who have qualified clinical skills'. Am I right? On the other hand, if I use 'which', it will not empathise the way it is as 'that' does, since 'that' can be Human and Non-human Antecedents. However, 'which' is only for Non-Human Antecedents. Am I understanding you well? Thank you so much : Jan 10, 2019 at 2:00
  • @PandoraU.U.D You bring up a good point about 'which' (typically) only being used for non-human antecedents, but that is not what I meant here. The clause modifies "skills" in either case, so that does not apply. The relevant issue is whether the clause is restrictive or nonrestrictive. Many style guides recommend (i.e. this is not a strict grammar rule) that one use "that" with restrictive clauses and "which" or "who" with nonrestrictive clauses.
    – Tashus
    Jan 10, 2019 at 16:53

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