Stage 7 Stage 8

Enlazando varias oraciones (cláusulas) mediante una cláusula relativa, evitamos la reiteración y, por tanto, logramos mayor agilidad semántica. (Ej. El profesor de inglés [que suele presentar los seminarios] me ha facilitado unos apuntes ≈ C1+CR+C2).

No son pocos los idiomas que formulan una frase relativa mediante un pronombre especial llamado “pronombre relativo” (español: que, quien, cual, cuando, donde y cuanto), por vínculos subordinantes, o simplemente mediante una determinada formación sintáctica.

Estos son los pronombres relativos en inglés: who (personas); which (animales o cosas); whose (vínculo o posesión); y that (personas, animales o cosas), precedido por everything, nothing, something o anything.

Los pronombres relativos pueden sustituirse en ocasiones por los adverbios relativos, haciendo más fácil la comprensión de la oración: when (tiempo); where (lugares) y why (causas, razones o motivos).

Los pronombres y adverbios relativos pueden omitirse siempre y cuando actúen como objeto en la oración; estos son: who, that, which, when y why.

Con esto como base, damos paso al contenido gramatical propiamente dicho de las denominadas “Relative Clauses”

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This month’s blog is about relative clauses. One of the difficulties in terms of sentence structure that a lot of language learners have is that they find it hard to construct a sentence using a relative clause.

Before we look at examples of relative clauses in sentences, it is important to understand what a relative clause is. A relative clause is a clause that we use to describe a noun. Basically, it has the same function as an adjective. An adjective is a word that we use to describe a noun, whereas a relative clause is a clause that we use to describe a noun.

Look at this sentence: «I have a cat, which is black». This sentence means the same as «I have a black cat». The words «which is black» make up a relative clause. They are used to describe the colour of the cat.

We put a relative clause immediately after the noun it describes. Take a look at this sentence: «He lives in a house, which has five bedrooms». The relative clause is «which has five bedrooms» and it is put immediately after the noun ‘house’ which is the thing that it describes.

We use the words ‘who’, ‘which’ and ‘that’ in relative clauses. These words are called relative pronouns. The difference between these words is that we use ‘who’ for people, ‘which’ for things and animals and ‘that’ for people, things and animals.

Look at these sentences:

(1) I know a girl who works in that shop.

(2) He is reading a book which he got for his birthday.

(3) They are the people that bought the company.

(4) That is the dog that was found in the street.

Notice that in these sentences when we are talking about people we can use the words ‘who’ or ‘that’ and when we are talking about animals or things we can use the words ‘which’ or ‘that’. Therefore, if you have any trouble remembering whether to use ‘who’ or ‘which’, don’t forget that you can simply use ‘that’ for everything.

Another example of a relative clause is to say «We are the group who booked the rooms». Again you should notice that the relative clause comes directly after the noun ‘group’ because that is the thing that it describes.

Using relative clauses also helps to make what we say shorter. If you look at the examples above, everything that is said could be said using two sentences rather than just one. For example we could say «I know a girl. She works in that shop», but we make it shorter by saying «I know a girl who works in that shop». We could also say «He is reading a book. His mother gave him the book», but again we make it shorter by saying «he is reading a book which his mother gave him». The same situation is true for the other example that were given above.

Apart from making what we say shorter, it also sounds more natural to use relative clauses in sentences. If we say «They are the people. They bought the company» it sounds quite robotic, so we would rarely speak in this way.

Now that you understand how to use relative clauses in sentences, you should practise them as much as possible because it will help you to speak more correctly and much more naturally.

One last example of a relative clause in a sentence is this: «This is a blog which I wrote».

Enjoy using sentences which have relatives clause in them- okay, I decided to sneak one more in for fun!

 

G. Harmman

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