CBSE Class 8 English Grammar Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses

Relative clauses are non-essential parts of a sentence. They may add meaning, but if they are removed, the sentence will still function grammatically. There are two broad types of relative clauses in English. It is important to distinguish between them because it affects the choice of pronoun used to introduce the clause. There is a more detailed page about preposition placement in relative clauses.

Defining clauses

A defining or identifying clause tells us which specific person or thing we are talking about in a larger group of people or things. If a defining relative clause is removed, the meaning of the sentence changes significantly. A defining relative clause is not separated from the rest of the sentence by commas or parentheses.


  • The woman who visited me in the hospital was very kind.
  • The umbrella that I bought last week is already broken.
  • The man who stole my backpack has been arrested.
  • The weather that we had this summer was beautiful.

Non-defining clauses

A non-defining or non-essential clause gives us more information about the person or thing we are talking about. If a non-defining relative clause is removed from a sentence, we lose some detail, but the overall meaning of the sentence remains the same. Non-defining relative clauses are always set off from the rest of the sentence with commas or parentheses.


  • The farmer, whose name was Fred, sold us 10 pounds of potatoes.
  • Elephants, which are the largest land mammals, live in herds of 10 or more adults.
  • The author, who graduated from the same university as I did, gave a wonderful presentation.
  • My mother, who is 86, lives in Paris.


I. Complete the exercise with who, whom, whose . (Relative Pronouns)

  1. Mr Richards,________________ is a taxi driver, lives on the corner.
  2. We often visit our aunt in Norwich_______________ is in East Anglia.
  3. This is the girl__________________ comes from Spain.
  4. That's Peter, the boy____________ has just arrived at the airport.
  5.  I talked to the girl_______________ car had broken down in front of the shop.
  6. Thank you very much for your e-mail_______________ was very interesting.
  7. The man,___________ father is a professor, forgot his umbrella.
  8. The children,______________ shouted in the street, are not from our school.
  9. The car,______________ driver is a young man, is from Ireland.
  10. What did you do with the money,__________ your mother lent you?

II.  Complete the following exercise with appropriate relative clauses:

  1. My grandfather______________________ still goes for swimming every day.
  2. This is the girl________________________ is very good at biology.dps
  3. I have lost the money ____________________ __________________.
  4. She didn’t see the snake_____________________________________.
  5. Do you know the shop______________________________________?
  6. The school___________________________ is known for its quality education.
  7. J.K Rowling,__________________ is a famous novelist.
  8. This is the old man__________________________ by the robbers.
  9. I can’t decide_____________________________ _my birthday party.
  10. The Himalayas_____________________________ have one of the highest mountain peaks in the world


I. Combine the sentences with relative clauses.

  1. A monk is a man. The man has devoted his life to God.
    A monk______________________________________.
  2. I have one black cat. His name is Blacky.
    I have _______________________________________.
  3. A herbivore is an animal. The animal feeds upon vegetation.
    A herbivore___________________________________.
  4. Carol plays the piano brilliantly. She is only 9 years old.
  5. Sydney is the largest Australian city. It is not the capital of Australia.
  6. The students were absent. They were fined._________________________________________________.
        7. We have a servant. He is very honest.
        8. I made a painting. I gifted it to you.
        9. I don’t like the clown. The clown has a bright red nose.She lives in Udaipur. Udaipur is known as the lake city.



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