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# GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses

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GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2010, 11:46
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 Relative Clauses

This post is a part of [GMAT GRAMMAR BOOK]

created by: bb
edited by: dzyubam

A relative clause is used to combine two separate sentences into one complete sentence. Any sentence that utilizes a relative clause can be separated into two complete sentences as the relative pronoun combines the two ideas together by replacing a duplicate noun phrase.

The ancient stone contains strange symbols. The symbols are from a forgotten language.
The ancient stone contains strange symbols that are from a forgotten language.

Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns that are used in relative clauses to replace duplicate noun phrases are listed below.

 PRONOUN USE IN ENGLISH thatwhichwhowhomwhose thingsthingspeoplepeopleusually people

NOTE: In conversational and informal written English, that, as well as who, can be used for people. However, that is not used for people in formal written English.

Dr. Won is the teacher. Dr. Won will accompany us.

ACCEPTABLE INFORMAL: Dr. Won is the teacher that (or who) will accompany us.
ACCEPTABLE FORMAL: Dr. Won is the teacher who will accompany us.

NOTE: The relative pronoun which is NEVER used with people in formal or informal English.

UNACCEPTABLE: Dr. Won is the teacher which will accompany us.

A regular pronoun CANNOT be used with a relative pronoun.

INCORRECT: This is the dress that I will wear it at the dance.
CORRECT: This is the dress that I will wear at the dance.

Who / Whom / Whose

When the subject noun phrase of a sentence is being replaced, use relative pronoun who. This pronoun will be followed by a verb. When the complement noun phrase of a sentence is being replaced, use the relative pronoun whom. This pronoun will be followed by a noun.

NOTE: Whom is rarely used in speech or informal writing. However, it should be used in formal written English where appropriate.

Study the following sentences:

Who replaces the subject noun/phrase and is followed by a verb. (Note: The subject that who is replacing is the same.)

The students are going to Europe. The students have good grades.
The students who have (verb) good grades are going to Europe.

The girls are intelligent. The girls like computer class.
The girls who like (verb) computer class are intelligent.

Whom replaces the object noun/phrase and is followed by a noun/phrase. (Note: There is a subject AND an object being linked when whom is used.)

The girl is pretty. Jerry likes the girl.
The girl whom Jerry (noun) likes is pretty.

Robin Williams is funny. The world adores Robin Williams.
Robin Williams, whom the world (noun) adores, is funny.

The form whom can also be used with a preposition. Whom will always follow the preposition when used in this way.

Ben Franklin was an interesting man. The book was written about Ben Franklin.
Ben Franklin, about (prep.) whom the book was written, was an interesting man.

The football players are handsome. Charlene is talking to the football players.
The football players to (prep.) whom Charlene is talking are handsome.

Whose is a relative pronoun that indicates possession. Study the following examples of how to use whose.

John doesn’t like publicity. John’s wife is famous.
John, whose wife is famous, doesn’t like publicity.

I have a new pet dog. The dog’s eyes are albino red.
I have a new pet dog whose eyes are albino red.

Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses

A relative clause is considered to be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. A restrictive clause cannot be omitted from the sentence without disrupting the meaning. A nonrestrictive clause is one that contains additional information and can be removed without disrupting the original meaning of the sentence.

A nonrestrictive clause is separated from the original sentence by commas and a restrictive clause is not. (See more information about the use of commas on [highlight]page ____.)[/highlight] The relative pronouns who, whom, whose and which can be used in either restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses. However, that can ONLY be used in restrictive clauses.

Restrictive Clause:

The man who lives in the old, spooky house is always walking around at night.

If the relative clause “who lives in the old, spooky house” is removed, it would change the meaning of the sentence because we are only talking about the man who lives in that particular house, not just any man.

The tomatoes that are ripe should be harvested today before they spoil.

The relative clause “that are ripe” cannot be removed because we are talking about particular tomatoes which need to be harvested, those that are ripe.

Examples of restrictive clauses:

The mechanic who is on duty will attend to your vehicle.
Spiders that are poisonous are being studied in class today.
The woman to whom I spoke was very rude.

Nonrestrictive Clause:

Dr. Thompson, who has received a prestigious science award, is my science teacher.

The relative clause can be removed from this sentence without changing the original meaning that “Dr. Thompson is my science teacher”. That he has received a prestigious science award is extra information that has been added.

The store’s entire furniture inventory, which consisted of rare antiques, was destroyed in the storm.

The relative clause “which consisted of rare antiques” can be removed without disrupting the main idea of the sentence which is that all the furniture was destroyed in the storm. The relative clause is added information which is not necessary to the main idea of the sentence.

Examples of nonrestrictive clauses:

Albert Einstein, who created the theory of relativity, was considered to be a genius.
All the lions in the zoo, which are large and ferocious, escaped into the surrounding area.
I comforted the lost boy, who was shivering and cold, before the authorities arrived.

Exercise 24: Creating Relative Clauses

In each sentence below, combine the two individual sentences into one sentence using a relative clause. Indicate whether the relative clause is restrictive or nonrestrictive by placing an “R” or “NR” in the blank at the end of the sentence. NOTE: Be sure to add commas before and after a nonrestrictive relative clause.

Example: John runs very fast. John won the state sprinting title.

John, who won the state sprinting title, runs very fast. _NR_
1. The cat is in my yard again. The cat has a broken leg.
______________________________________________________ _____
2. I am going to see the doctor. The doctor delivered me when I was born.
______________________________________________________ _____
3. Jim Carey autographed my shirt. Jim Carey is the funniest man ever.
______________________________________________________ _____
4. Once, I met a man. The man’s teeth were all gold.
______________________________________________________ _____
5. The chain broke. The chain keeps the bear from escaping.
______________________________________________________ _____
6. Dragons breathe columns of fire. Dragons fly through the night sky.
______________________________________________________ _____
7. Free Willy was a cute move. Free Willy was a story about freedom.
______________________________________________________ _____
8. Chester came to my party. Chester was an amazing guitar player.
______________________________________________________ _____
9. The baby was rushed to the hospital. The baby’s arm was broken.
______________________________________________________ _____
10. Jessica met a new friend. Jessica liked her friend very much.
______________________________________________________ _____

Think something is missing? Let us know - Help Improve GMAT Club's Grammar Book Project!
This post is a part of [GMAT GRAMMAR BOOK]
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2010, 02:51
I will not be surprised at all to see GMAT CLUB release complete GMAT preparation books in the market.
What I am sure of is that these prep books will enjoy a huge success and will hopefully compete with the success of Manhattan GMAT books......

Good luck guys and keep up the hard work
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2010, 05:54
Hey BB,
Thanks a ton for all these exercises. I am preparing for my GMAT now and am going through this GRAMMAR Book before getting onto verbal. I would appreciate if you could please post the answers to the exercise in the section above.
Thanks
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2010, 06:25
A link to the answers to the exercises 24 and on will be posted later in this thread:
gmat-verbal-grammar-book-96532.html
reservoir11 wrote:
Hey BB,
Thanks a ton for all these exercises. I am preparing for my GMAT now and am going through this GRAMMAR Book before getting onto verbal. I would appreciate if you could please post the answers to the exercise in the section above.
Thanks

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2010, 05:38
restrictive/non-restrictive clauses can be achieved at will depending on which of the relative pronouns we employ, right?

for example,
"The chain that keeps the chair from escaping has broken".....R
"The chain, which keeps the chair from escaping, has broken".....NR

In that case, the above exercises have no definite answer as to whether R or NR.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2010, 05:47
(iii) George, who passed the test, was elated. .....NR
(iv) George who passed the test was elated. ......R

From the (iii) and (iv) it's clear that removing the commas
simply transforms a nonrestrictive clause to a restrictive type.
But, of course, the meanings differ.

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2011, 08:33
Exercise 24 - Q7 - should be cute movie, not move
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2011, 05:07
The cat that has a broken leg is in my yard again.-R, The cat, which has a broken leg, is in my yard a gain. -NR
I am going to see the doctor who delivered me when I was born. -R
Jim Carrey, who is the funniest man ever, autographed my Tshirt. -NR
Once I met a man whose teeth were all gold. -R
The chain that keeps the bear from escaping broke. -R, The chain, which keeps the bear from escaping, broke.-NR
Free Willy, which was a story about freedom, was a cute movie. -NR
Chester who was an amazing guitar player came to my party. -R
The baby whose arm was broken was rushed to the hospital.- R
Jessica met a new friend whom she liked very much. -R
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses [#permalink]

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01 Jun 2014, 04:00
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Whether it is a restrictive clause i.e. The cat that has a broken leg is in my yard again.-R

or a non-restrictive clause i.e. The cat, which has a broken leg, is in my yard a gain. -NR

I think that it is a restrictive clause as it is specific to the cat whose leg is broken..
Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Relative Clauses   [#permalink] 01 Jun 2014, 04:00
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