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English definition of “relative clause”

relative clause

noun [C]     specialized
part of a sentence that cannot exist independently and describes a noun that comes before it in the main part of the sentence: In the sentence 'The woman who I met was wearing a brown hat', 'who I met' is a relative clause.Sentences and expressions Grammar:Relative clausesRelative clauses give us more information about someone or something. We can use relative clauses to combine clauses without repeating information.See moreGrammar:Types of relative clauseThere are two types of relative clause: one type refers to a noun or noun phrase (these are defining and non-defining relative clauses) and the other type refers to a whole sentence or clause, especially in speaking.See moreGrammar:Relative clauses: defining and non-definingSee moreGrammar:Defining relative clausesWe use defining relative clauses to give essential information about someone or something – information that we need in order to understand what or who is being referred to. A defining relative clause usually comes immediately after the noun it describes.See moreGrammar:Non-defining relative clausesWe use non-defining relative clauses to give extra information about the person or thing. It is not necessary information. We don’t need it to understand who or what is being referred to.See moreGrammar:Defining or non-defining relative clauses?Sometimes defining and non-defining relative clauses can look very similar but have different meanings.See moreGrammar:Relative clauses referring to a whole sentenceSome relative clauses refer to a whole clause, a whole sentence, or a longer stretch of language. We always use which to introduce these clauses.See more
(Definition of relative clause noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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