Relative Clauses, Using Where, When, Whose

Relative Clauses, Using Where, When, Whose

A relative clause is a sentence describing a noun, however, it cannot be used separately.  It comes after the noun defined by a basic sentence. It is also called adjective clause because it defines a noun.


If the defined sentence is the subject of the basic sentence, the relative clause is located between the subject and the predicate. If the noun we describe declares possessive in the defining sentence, ‘whose’ is used for both people and objects.

  • Do you know the gallerist? His car was stolen.
  • Do you know the gallerist whose car was stolen?


If the noun we describe declares a place in the defining sentence, we may use ‘where’.

  • Do not clean the room.  My son is studying in that room.
  • Do not clean the room my son is studying.

We can use which and that when defining a noun that states a place but we have to use the preposition of that name.

  • I liked the seaside resort which we spent last summer.


If the noun we define specifies the time in the defining sentence (in that year, on that day, etc.), ‘when’ can be used.

  • 1821 is the year. Napoleon Bonaparte died then.
  • 1821 is the year when Napoleon Bonaparte died.

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