Defining relative clause
An identifying relative clause, also known as a defining or restrictive relative clause, is a relative clause that qualifies a noun, and tells us exactly which person or thing is being referred to - in other words, it defines that person or thing. Without them the sentences make little sense or have a rather different meaning. No commas are used.
- "Students who/that do homework get the best results."
- "The computer which/that we bought was very expensive."
- "My bedroom is where sleep."
- "The reason why I am editing Teflpedia is I have no life."
- "I have a husband whose family hate me."
- "And that was when I realised that I needed to get out more."
- "A corkscrew is something which/that you use to open a bottle of wine."
- "He is a friend who/whom/that I have known for a long time."
You can use that
- Do you know anyone who/that plays rugby or cricket?
- Judith works for a company which/that makes computer software.
You can leave out that/who/which when it is the object
- We went to see the film (that/which) Caroline liked so much.
- This morning I met a friend (that/who) I hadn’t seen for ages.