The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [relative-clauses]

A clause used to join two sentences together, or to provide more information about something.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
25
votes
5answers
8k views

“We missed the bus, which made us late for school” - erroneous use of “which”?

From a discussion at Lang-8: Kim and I ran fast as we could, but we missed the bus, which made us late for school. I believe the sentence's use of the relative clause to be okay: the relative ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Stephen Hawking believes that the earth is unlikely to be the only planet ____ life has developed gradually

(I'm reading a grammar textbook, which contains the question and clams it was written for China's National College Entrance Examination in 2010. I checked, and it was.) Stephen Hawking believes ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “…was a saint, upon which declaration…” mean in this Wikipedia article?

Source Canonization is the act by which the Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, Roman Catholic, or Anglican Church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is ...
11
votes
2answers
8k views

“one of those men who doesn't” vs. “one of those men who don't”

Which is the correct form: one of those men who doesn't one of those men who don't I searched in Google Books and found 9 results for doesn't and 5 results for don't. Maybe both options are ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a golden rule to judge what the word “which” stands for in a sentence?

There are many rules to help us judge what the word "which" stands for in a sentence. But there always have so many exceptions. And the best way for judging seems to use these rules as well as make ...
10
votes
1answer
521 views

Why is the subject omitted?

The class everyone had really been looking forward to was Defense Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell's lessons turned out to be a bit of a joke. His classroom smelled strongly of garlic, which ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Interpretation of an integrated relative in “my brother who doesn't [live in New York]” in context

Here goes a sentence from a grammar test published on the online version of The Telegraph (UK): I should like to introduce you to my sister Amanda, who lives in New York, to Mark, my brother who ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How to avoid ambiguity of the antecedent of a relative clause?

I wrote this technical text, which I found ambiguous: What's a child expression? It's a call expression inside a function, which represents a parent call expression. For the purposes of ...
7
votes
2answers
667 views

Interrogative in relative clauses

I wrote: However, the program needs a feature training file, (feat.trn), which I don't know what it is, and how I can provide it. I know in relative clauses wh-words are used as the absent pronoun ...
7
votes
6answers
498 views

“Never attribute to malice THAT WHICH is adequately explained by stupidity”

The following sentence is part of a famous saying called Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity I'm confused by the "that which". Why do you need ...
7
votes
5answers
302 views

ambiguity?: to infinitive phrase as a purpose clause or an infinitival relative clause

I think the grammar of To-infinitive is the most difficult part of learning English because it is hard for me like ESL students to know which is which. I mean, I'm, well, just wanting to classify the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Words like 'place' in 'the place where/that/∅ …'

A discussion under a recent question brought up a topic I've been wondering about for a while: Only the word "place" is unusual and has the formula "the place where/that/∅", isn't (or should I say "...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Omitting 'that' in this sentence

There is so much (that) is at stake for many. Can we omit 'that' in this sentence?
6
votes
3answers
645 views

“all of who” or “all of whom”?

In the following excerpt Prominent absentees from the event apart from Punia, were cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, Asian Games gold-medallist shot-putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, and silver-winner ...
6
votes
3answers
304 views

The use or omission of commas round relative clauses

In Longman English Grammar Practice, there is a practice question in which you would say what the sentences mean with and without commas. My brother who is in Canada is an architect. Without ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Omission of “that” (in this text)

I'm trying to re-write published newspaper articles for practice writing. The original reads: We seem to forget that we all have some rights over the government. The government has come into being ...
6
votes
3answers
559 views

The University of St Andrews ______ is the oldest university in Scotland

The University of St Andrews ______ is the oldest university in Scotland. A. which was founded in 1413 B. , which was founded in 1413, C. , that was founded in 1413, The answer is 'B'. ...
6
votes
2answers
156 views

(Singular subject) + which + are?

It is a pretty big floor and you are just running around praying for a terminal which are surprisingly rare. So, I wrote this sentence in a forum long time ago and now that I look at it again, I am ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

Is this a Run-ON Sentence?

Sentence that needs correction : "The Americans and The Bostonians are two Henry James novels , the film versions of which have been as successful as the book versions". Isn't this a run on ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is 'where' used as a pronoun in relative clauses?

Please take a look at the following examples: (a) Statement: He works in a office. (b) Relative clause:   1. The office where he works (is for rent).   2. The office in which he works (is for rent). ...
6
votes
3answers
281 views

What grammatical concept is “I want dating my wife”?

A line was said in the Big Bang Theory. I’m starting to think you’re not the kind of guy I want dating my wife. I know that we say "You are not the kind of guy I want for my wife to date. Or ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Do native speakers often use relative clauses?

Do native speakers use "relative clauses" much when speaking? For example: "The bag he is carrying is very heavy." or "Have you seen the photos Ann took?" Do native speakers ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you say “which each” or “who each”?

I speak in Persian, sometimes as I translate a sentence from my native language to English, I doubt if its structure is correct. I want to say (for example) "I have some children who each have a ...
5
votes
3answers
557 views

Fruits are an evolutionary mechanism, which IS… or which ARE…?

I wrote a sentence similar to the titular, and got feedback that it should be: "Fruits are an evolutionary mechanism, which ARE ..." in order to keep consistent plurality (with the plural "Fruits"). ...
5
votes
1answer
527 views

“This can make us think the concepts are related, which in fact they are not.”

This can lead inexperienced mathematicians to conclude that these concepts are related, which in fact they are not. Source: Wikipedia. I would expect the bold part to instead be "which, in fact, are ...
5
votes
2answers
613 views

Choice of tense following “I wish it was true that…”

Which is correct? I wish it was true that I don't love you. OR I wish it was true that I didn't love you. I am talking in the present time, trying to express that I am not happy as a result ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

I am confused over whether to use “what” or “that”

The sentence goes one of these two ways: "He knows WHAT other teachers don't know" or perhaps: "He knows things THAT others teachers don't" Which is better to use - WHAT or THAT? Are they ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

Should clauses always start with a relative or subordinate? Can it also start with a preposition? Can there be clauses within prepositional phrases?

Is there a clause or a prepositional phrase in the sentence, That is the large, main branch from which many smaller branches branch out? If it is a prepositional phrase, what is the object? If it ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Are these two consecutive relative clauses that modify the same noun phrase?

“ ‘Landry’s funeral was covered as lavishly as any celebrity wedding in the tawdry magazines who feed on the famous, and whose publishers will surely mourn her demise longer than most. We were ...
5
votes
3answers
155 views

Is usage of relative pronoun for a personal pronoun admissible in writing

In the following sentence, a personal pronoun (I) is referred by a relative pronoun (who): I am Steve who is living in this locality for the recent 2 years. Is this correct or looking weird? Can ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the best way to phrase this?

This is the sentence in question: "Describe an experience that you went out with your friends and had a good time." I found this in an ESL speaking practice booklet (compiled by non-native ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

How much can the distance between a noun and its relative clause be?

In the sentence I have read your paper, which is very well-written, carefully. "your paper" is described by the relative clause "which is very well-written". I'm looking for grammar rules ...
5
votes
1answer
49 views

What grammatical concept is this?

I have always been confused about this pattern. I can't be the first person to forget to pay his taxes. That was the 11th family member to have been killed. He can't be the person to have ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

Where is the exact position of the word that leads to subordinate clause?

Please look at the two following sentences which make me confused: I drove the lady who we saw the day before yesterday to her house yesterday. I drove the lady to her house yesterday, who we ...
5
votes
2answers
302 views

Omitting the article before defining relative clause

We use the definite article before defining a relative clause when we mean specific instances— this is a well-known rule. What if we omit an article in order to say something in a more general way, ...
5
votes
5answers
174 views

A question regarding a modifying clause

The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.(cited from http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/subjunctive_mood.htm) ...
4
votes
2answers
825 views

Grammatical usage of relative pronoun: “many people came who were interested in art”

I'm confused by this sentence: many people came who were interested in art Why is who is used after came? Is it correct?
4
votes
3answers
899 views

What is the subject of this sentence

I've seen this sentence in someone's facebook status but it sounds unnatural to me. I'm the Rumplestiltskin who spins straw into gold I thought it should be spin because the subject is I, but I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
313 views

Are there recommendations on when to use relative clause vs. infinitive?

Here are examples: Johann Gutenberg printed the famous Gutenberg Bible, the first book to be printed in movable type in Europe. Johann Gutenberg printed the famous Gutenberg Bible, the first ...
4
votes
2answers
370 views

“the chemical and physical changes it undergoes” — What does the clause in the end indicate?

I'm reading now a chemistry book which saying: Chemistry is the study of matter, its chemical and physical properties, the chemical and physical changes it undergoes, and the energy changes ...
4
votes
2answers
707 views

“in which people study” or “where people study on”

Should it be: Campus is a place in which children study. or Campus is a place where children study on. Which one is correct, or are they both incorrect? Why? Is there a better version?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“which” as relative determiner?

Sentence 1: I was told my work was unsatisfactory, at which point I submitted my resignation. Sentence 2:Sometimes you may feel too frail to cope with things, in which case do them as soon as it is ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

analysis for “such as”

When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“one of the upgrades that is/are being considered”

I've run into this problem multiple times when writing the following: "one of the upgrades that is being considered is a ..." Word spell check suggests that this is incorrect and it should ...
4
votes
1answer
780 views

Can I replace the relative adjective “where” with “that”?

—Can you believe I had to pay 30 dollars for a haircut? —You should try the barber’s where I go. It’s only 15. In the above sentence, can I replace "where" with "that" or omit it? Can I say "You ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Which one of the following is a correct grammatical conclusion?

I am practicing independent writing for TOEFL iBT test. I have read a passage which says that universities should focus more on research. I also have a listing in which the lecturer believes that ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Relative pronouns (where vs. which)

A relative clause always contains a relative pronoun, as we all know, it depends on the subject of our sentence if it's a thing or a person, or if it contains a possessive adjective, etc... While I ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Is it possible to have 2 subjects in a defining relative clause?

Is it possible to have 2 subjects in a defining relative clause ? For example: The author whose book I've read is going to be in my town "whose book" and "I" are 2 subjects here right ? Or "whose ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

“what” vs “which” in non-defining relative clauses

According to google ngrams the second variant is more widely used: [It was cold there], what took us by surprise. [It was cold there], which took us by surprise. Can anybody, please, explain me ...
4
votes
1answer
493 views

She seems to be in a better mood than (what) she was in before. --meaning difference

She seems to be in a better mood than she was in before. She seems to be in a better mood than what she was in before. Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? They have a different ...