Reduced Relative Clauses
Relative clauses add additional information about a noun in a sentence. Most of the clauses are introduced by a relative pronoun who, which, where, whose, when and that.
  • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
  • Where is the jumper which I bought you last Christmas?
  • Columbariums are places where urns are kept.
  • The man whose dog I look after has just died.
  • Ching Ming is a festival when many people will visit their ancestors.
For more information on the difference between defining and non-defining relative clauses, and on the differences between relative pronouns, click here:

http://elc.polyu.edu.hk/cill/eap/2004/u6/relativeclauses.aspx

In cases where the relative pronoun that, which or who is not the subject of the relative clause it can be omitted.

Where is the jumper (that) I bought you last Christmas?  (that is not the subject, so it can be omitted)
  Where is the jumper I bought you for Christmas? 
Where is the jumper that has a Santa Clause face on it? (that refers to the jumper , so it cannot be omitted)
  Where is the jumper has a Santa Clause face on it?

Exercise 1
Can the relative pronouns in the sentences below be omitted or not? Click on the correct button next to each sentence.

Click here to show tip
Tip:
If you are not sure whether the relative pronoun can be omitted, look at the word class of the word that follows it. If it is a noun, pronoun, or proper noun, the relative pronoun can be omitted.
  omit cannot omit
1.Students that score consistently high in Math are often left-handed. Incorrect Correct
  Answer: Cannot omit.  That refers to students.
2.Undergraduates that the Dean thinks have excelled throughout the year are awarded a prize. Correct Incorrect
  Answer: Can omit.  That is not the subject.
3.The Apple computer which recently sold at auction for USD 600,000  was bought by a museum. Incorrect Correct
  Answer: Cannot omit. That refers to the Apple computer.
4. Shares in the company that Steve Jobs founded did not collapse immediately following his death. Correct Incorrect
  Answer: Can omitThat is not the subject.
5. Fans who follow Just Beiber religiously are called Beliebers. Incorrect Correct
  Answer: Cannot omit.  That refers to fans.
6. Fans who Justin Beiber feels are somewhat intimidating are usually brought to the attention of the police. Correct Incorrect
  Answer: Can omit. Who is not the subject.

Other Kinds of Relative Clause Reduction
Where the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause, the relative pronouns and any accompanying auxiliary verb can be omitted.
The students who are protesting today will be on the news tonight       BECOMES:
The students protesting today will be on the news tonight
The damage which was caused by yesterday’s riot will have to be paid for BECOMES:
The damage caused by yesterday’s riot will have to be paid for
 
Where the verb BE is a complement, it can be omitted but not where BE is the main verb
The men who are in black should stand next to the women who are in white BECOMES:
The men in black should stand next to the women in white
The men who are tall should stand at the back CANNOT BECOME
The men tall should stand at the back
 
Where the verb in the relative clause is simple, the verb changes to the –ing form
Students who sit at the back of class tend to be less eager to learn BECOMES:
Students sitting at the back of class tend to be less eager to learn
 
In active structures where the verb is followed by a preposition phrase, it can also be omitted with little change in meaning
Students sitting at the back of class tend to be less eager to learn BECOMES:
Students at the back of the class tend to be less eager to learn.
 
In passive structures, it usually cannot be omitted :
The damage caused by yesterday’s riot will have to be paid for     CANNOT BECOME
The damage by yesterday’s riot will have to be paid for
 
Omissions tend not to occur for completed past actions in active structures:
The player that bit Ivanovic’s ear was banned for three matches     CANNOT BECOME
The player biting Ivanovic;s s ear was banned for three matches
 
But can for completed past actions in passive structures
The player who was bitten by Suarez has demanded an apology  
The player bitten by Suarez has demand an apology
 

Exercise 2

A. Matching

Match up the appropriate halves by clicking and dragging the boxes in the left next to their appropriate sentences on the left. Then complete the sentences in Task 2b below omitting relative pronouns and verbs where possible.

Click here to show answers

Answer:

I often have a dream in which there is a teacher. He is scolding me with an angry face.
There is a story in the paper about a terrorist. He was arrested for concealing explosives in his backpack.
Students are required to sign up for extra lessons. The students need help with their English.
Students should apply for jobs as soon as possible. They are in hurry to start work after graduation.
The gentleman is known as Gavrilo Princip. He shot Arch Duke Ferdinand.
The scientists were American. They first produced Plutonium.


B. Sentence Completion

Complete the sentences based on the information in part A and omit relative pronouns where possible.
1.


Your answer:

Answer:
I often have a dream in which there is a teacher scolding me with an angry face
  
2.


Your answer:

Answer:
There is a story in the paper about a terrorist arrested for concealing explosives in his bag
  
3.


Your answer:

Answer:
Students needing help with English are required to sign up for extra lessons
  
4.


Your answer:

Answer:
Students in a hurry to start work after graduation should apply for jobs as soon as possible.
  
5.


Your answer:

Answer:
The gentleman who shot Arch Duke Ferdinand is known as Gavril Princip.
  
6.


Your answer:

Answer:
The scientists who first produced Plutonium were American (no reduction possible single action)
  

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