We know that defining relative clauses can be reduced. Let's look at some examples.

  1. The boy whom I called yesterday knows you.

= The boy I called yesterday knows you. (The relative pronoun is omitted as it's the object of the clause)

  1. The boy who is sitting next to you lives in Kolkata.

= The boy sitting next to you lives in Kolkata. (The relative pronoun is the subject of the clause and it's followed by a be verb so we've omitted the relative pronoun and the be verb both)

  1. The girl who lives in Kolkata is beautiful.

= The girl living in Kolkata is beautiful. ( There is no be verb after the relative pronoun so we change the main verb into its progressive form and then omit the relative pronoun)

  1. My friend who is a teacher is a good hearted person.

= My teacher friend is a good hearted person.

If they are non defining relative clauses, can we omit by the ways mentioned above? Can the following sentences containing non defining clauses be reduced?

  1. Ram, whom I called yesterday, is a very good boy.
  2. Rima, who is sitting next to you, is very beautiful.
  3. My mother, who lives in Delhi, is very hardworking.
  4. My father, who is a doctor, loves me so much.
  • 1
    What textbook are you quoting from?
    – BillJ
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 7:12
  • 1
    I'm not quoting from any textbook. While reading newspaper etc I see reduced relative clauses. So I tried to know how the clauses are reduced and then came to know about the ways I mentioned above. I'm confused about the non defining ones. Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 7:58
  • The first 3 in the "defining" group might be described as reduced relative clauses (terminology varies). But "my teacher friend" does not contain a relative clause of any kind.
    – nschneid
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


You can't reduce any of the four examples you give because in each instance you are speaking of a specific person. But suppose, instead, you had five brothers. Then a sentence such as "My brother living in Delhi..." would narrow the list of brothers to just (presumably) the one living there. You also could say, "My brother who lives in Delhi ..." because that, too, narrows the reference to the specific brother who lives there. You even could say, "My brother, who lives in Delhi, ...," but that sounds a little strange when you have multiple brothers, although it is technically acceptable.

  • I've not got the answer what I asked for. My question is all about the reduction of relative clauses. I reduced the clauses when they are defining relative clauses . So can we reduce the non defining ones the same way we did for defining ones? Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 13:47

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