Relative Clauses Examples in English

Today we are going to learn how to use relative clauses in English with a helpful guide and plenty of examples.

Relative clauses tell us more about people and things:

Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired.
This is the house which Jack built.
Marie Curie is the woman that discovered radium.

We use:

  • who and whom for people
  • which for things
  • that for people or things.

Sentences with Relative Clauses

These are examples of sentences with relative clauses

  • Do you know the girl who  threw the Halloween party?
  • Can I have the pencil that I bought you  yesterday?
  • A notebook is a computer which is small.
  •  want to live in a place where there are beaches nearby.
  • Yesterday was a day when everything went wrong!
  • It’s my brother who lives in Norway
  • The weather that we had this summer was beautiful.
  • Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired.
  • This is the house which Jack built.
  • Marie Curie is the woman that discovered radium.

Relative Clauses Types

Relative clauses are divided into two types

  1. Defining Relative Clauses
  2. Non- Defining Relative Clauses

Defining Relative Clauses

Defining relative clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about. 

These are some examples of sentences with defining relative clauses

  1. They’re the people who want to buy our house.
  2. Here are some cells which have been affected.
  3. They should give the money to somebody who they think needs the treatment most.
  4. The woman who visited me in the hospital was very kind.
  5. The umbrella that I bought last week is already broken.
  6. The man who stole my backpack has been arrested.
  7. Protesters who smash windows will be arrested.
  8. The man who sold me the house has left the city.
  9. The film that we saw last week was awful.
  10. Children who hate chocolate are uncommon.
  11. They live in a house whose roof is full of holes.
  12. An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
  13. Let’s go to a country where the sun always shines.

Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Nondefining relative clauses are composed of a relative pronoun, a verb, and optional other elements such as the subject or object of the verb.

Commas or parentheses are always used to separate nondefining relative clauses from the rest of the sentence.

These ares some examples of Sentences with Non-Defining Relative Clauses

  1. My mother, who is 86, lives in Paris.
  2. Clare, who I work with, is doing the London marathon this year
  3. Alice, who works in  London , will be starting a teaching course in the autumn
  4. My grandfather, who is 87, goes swimming every day.
  5. The film, which stars Tom Carter, is released on Friday.
  6. Elephants that love mice are very unusual
  7. Mrs. Jackson, who is very intelligent, lives on the corner
  8. Protestors, who are mostly aged under 30, want to express an opinion.
  9. The theater, which is beautiful, was designed by Tom Jon.

Quizzes and Worksheets: Relative Clauses

These are some quizzes and worksheets to help you master the topic

  1. Relative Clauses Worksheet
  2. Test on Relative Clauses
  3. Relative pronouns – who, which, whose – Exercise
  4. Oxford University Press Quiz

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English