Bilbao School » Grammar section: Non-defining Relative clauses Grammar section: Non-defining Relative clauses – Bilbao School of English

Grammar section: Non-defining Relative clauses

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



A non-defining relative clause is a phrase or sentence that is added to a sentence for more information. It is not essential information. It is extra information. If you remove the clause that is in between or after a comma, the sentence remaining should make sense completely without it.

a) My brother, who is a doctor, goes skydiving once a month.

Non-defining relative clauses use relative pronouns: who, which, where, when, why, whose, whom.

Who is for people. Which is for thingsWhere is for placesWhen is for times. Why is for reasonsWhose is for possessionWhom is for people who are the object of the relative clause.

Formrelative pronoun + verb + noun/adverb…


b) Even though the car accident was very bad we didn’t get hurt,which was very lucky.


In example A, the relative clause is extra information put in the middle of the sentence after the subject.

In example B, the relative clause is at the end of the sentence, after a comma and before a full stop. Example B uses a relative clause that comments on the sentence as a whole, but Example A provides extra information on the subject.

*Note that it is INCORRECT to use that in a non-defining relative clause.

Exercise 1.- Grammar

Think of an appropriate phrase to use as a non-defining relative clause to complete the sentence.


a) My sister, ________________________________________, is happily married.
b) The school, ________________________________________, is the best in the city.
c) The church, ________________________________________, is 500 years old.
d) The stadium, ________________________________________, is used every weekend.
e) My friend, ________________________________________, is having a party tonight.
f) Her uncle, ______________________________, is flying here to visit them this weekend.
g) The mountains, ________________________________________, are covered in snow.
h) His father, ________________________________________, is very proud of him.


Accede mediante el siguiente enlace a la explicación gramatical del mes pasado sobre «Reported questions & Time/place changes».

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