Bilbao School » Grammar section: Defining relative clauses Grammar section: Defining relative clauses – Bilbao School of English

Grammar section: Defining relative clauses

Esta semana desde la academia de inglés Bilbao school te explicamos la forma gramatical «Defining Relative clauses» y te damos unos ejercicios para completar.




A defining relative clause gives us information that is needed to understand who or what we are talking about. Without it, the sentence does not make complete sense. We do not separate them from the rest of the sentence using punctuation, because we need it to understand what the sentence is about.


a) The man who was sitting next to me was reading a newspaper.


Without the clause, all we see is “the man was reading a newspaper”. Which man? The man who was sitting next to me…


We use the same relative pronouns for defining relative clauses as we do for non-defining relative clauses, except that we can use ‘that’ as well.

That is for people, animals or things. We never put a comma before that, which is why we don’t use it for non-defining relative clauses.

b) The school that I went to is going to be used in a film!


Exercise 1.- Grammar


Match a relative clause to a sentence.


a)The song ______ was written by my aunt.

b)The people ______ came over to ask if I was okay.

c)The church ______ has been completely renovated.

d)The politicians ______ all resigned yesterday.

e)The place ______ needs to be rebuilt.

f)The school ______ is having a concert tomorrow night.

g)The man ______ on the train was smoking!

h)The airport ______ is in the south of the city.



1)   where I want to live

2)   who saw me crying in the street

3)   that I need to go to

4)   who was sitting next to me

5)   that was set on fire

6)   who were accused of lying

7)   that I went to

8)   that won the Eurovision competition


Accede mediante el siguiente enlace a la explicación gramatical del mes pasado sobre «Non-defining Relative clauses».

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