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ESL forum > Ask for help > relative clause    

relative clause


relative clause
plz tell me if there were rules for choosing a relative clause when combining two sentences.
The waitress was friendly.She served us dinner.
->The waitress who served us dinner was friendly.
or: The waitress who was friendly served us dinner.
and another sentence:
Tom saw the clowns.He liked them very much.
-> Tom saw the clowns who he liked very much.
or: Tom liked the clowns who he saw very much.
What is right?What is wrong?
Thanks in advance.

25 Mar 2012      

United States

"The waitress who served us dinner was friendly" is fine as it stands. I would add commas to the other version because the information isn īt essential (unless she īs the only friendly waitress in the restaurant). So I īd write, "The waitress, who was friendly, served us dinner."
As for Tom and the clowns, the first sentence is much better; the second as written is wrong. The problem is that "very much" modifies "liked," not "saw." And who clauses sound much better if the antecedent is immediately before the pronoun who. There īs also a natural order of occurrence: Tom saw the clowns first, and then he liked them. (Purists would argue that you should use "whom" and not "who" because it acts as the object of the sentence, but native speakers use "who" in this context all the time.)

25 Mar 2012     


When you have two sentences and want to join them using a relative clause you should pay attention to the following:one is the main clause and the other refers to a word of the main clause."The waitress was friendly." is the main clause."She served us dinner." is the clause which refers to "the waitress".The relative clause is placed directly after the word it refers to.So, the correct way to join them is:The waitress who served us dinner was friendly.
Tom liked the clowns (who) he saw very much
You can use this for further practice:http://www.eslprintables.com/printable.asp?id=408444#this
I hope this helps

25 Mar 2012