Using Relative Clauses and Example Sentences

How to use Relative Clauses in English, Examples


How to use Relative Clauses in English, Examples

Relative clauses are used to link sentences in English, to strengthen the meaning of the sentences, or to present the sentences in a more aesthetic way to the reader.

Different relative clauses are used for different purposes. You also need to follow different tips for using each relative clause properly. In today’s article, we will examine two different relative clauses, which are the most popular and most commonly used in daily life. For more information about Who and Which relative clauses, read the rest of the article.

Relative Clauses 1: WHO

”Who” is a kind of relative clause we use when the subject or object we want to describe is a human being. Relative clauses provide details about the action specified in the preceding clause. If you wish, we can examine this in more detail through an example.

  • The woman who is with the red dress asking me the address was very beautiful.

In the above sentence, we actually see two different expressions. Let’s examine these statements one by one.

  1. In the first part of the sentence, we see that a woman asks the subject of the sentence the address. But when we examine this sentence, we do not have any information about the woman.
  2. When we examine the second part of the sentence, we get information about women. Relative clause ”who” helps us understand that the woman is wearing a red dress. Thanks to ”Who”, we can easily understand that the red dress is a descriptive element that belongs to the woman mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. In short, who represents the woman mentioned in the sentence.

Important Tip; 


When we analyze the sentence in general, we see that the general information in the sentence becomes specific thanks to the relative clause. When we first read the sentence, we think of any woman. But when we examine the continuation of the sentence, we get the information that this woman is wearing a red dress. In this way, we have more information about women and the meaning in the sentence becomes more specific. That is exactly what is provided with relative clauses.


Relative Clauses 2: WHICH

If the entity we want to characterize in a sentence or want to make it more specific is an inanimate entity, which we usually use. Thanks to this, we provide the specific meaning that we provide with who. At the same time, as we do not use personal pronouns, we also prevent any possible confusion about the meaning of the sentence.

By building a sentence with which, let’s better understand what kind of meaning change occurs in the sentence. Here is an example:

  • The car which is standing in front of the apartment is my car.

In the above sentence, firstly, any car is mentioned. Next, information is given on where the car stops so that said car becomes more specific. The word that allows us to understand that this information belongs to the car is the word “which”. Here, we could not use the word who instead. Because who is a kind of relative clause that can be used for living beings and humans.

Important Tip; 

  1. The relative clause must be preceded by a name. The relative clause qualifies this name. Therefore, you can easily predict where you need to use a relative clause in exams.
  2. The timings of the sentences before and after the pronoun of interest should be compatible with each other.
  3. To clearly understand what the relative clauses characterize, replace the relative clause with the name of the object. If you can easily make sense of the sentence, you have solved the meaning in the sentence correctly.

Example Sentences Related to Relative Clauses;

  • The woman who is with the red dress asking me the address was very beautiful.
  • My teacher, who came to Spain in 2001, likes to ride her mountain bike.
  • I think the people who that live on the island are very friendly.
  • The car which is standing in front of the apartment is my truck.
  • The house which we rented was in blue.
  • The bananas, which I bought on Monday, are rotten.
  • The wallet which I bought last week is already stolen.