Exercise 3

Fill in the gaps with who, which, whose, where, or when.

1 Sony is building a robot can form an 'emotional connection' with humans.

2 Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, died in October at the age of 56, had a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

3 Can you give me back the book I lent you last year?

4 Is that the man house was destroyed by the hurricane?

5 Do you remember the summer  Jack came home by surprise.

6 A love affair quickly developed between Gala and Dalí, was about 10 years younger than her.

7 Why don't we book a room at the hotel we stayed last year?

8 Is that the boy insulted you?

9 William Colgate, name is on toothpaste tubes all around the world, left home because the family was very poor.

10 He took us into his house and gave us food, was really nice of him.



Defining vs non-defining – grammar chart

Defining and non-defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses carry essential information, because they identify which thing or person we are talking about, and they are used without commas.

  • This is the music which was used at the show
  • Have they found the prisoner who escaped last week?


We can use that

In defining relative clauses we can use that instead of which or who.

  • This is the music that was used at the show. 
  • Have they found the prisoner that escaped last week?


When can we omit who/which/that?

Who/which/that, can be omitted if they are followed by subject + verb

  • Can you pass me the box (which/that) I keep in the top drawer?
  • You are not the man (who/that) I thought you were. 


Non-defining relative clauses

Non-defining relative clauses are used between commas, and they add extra information which is not necessary to know who or what we are talking about.

  • This music, which I really like, was used at the show.
  • My sister, who I truly admire, is coming for Thanksgiving. 


We cannot use that, and we cannot omit who/which

In non-defining relative clauses (between commas) we cannot use that, and we cannot omit who/which.

  • This music, that I really like, was used at the show. 
  • My sister, I truly admire, is coming for Thanksgiving. 


Defining vs non-defining relative clauses

In a defining relative clause the information is essential to identify who or what we are talking about, whereas in non-defining relative clauses we just add extra the information, which is not necessary. Compare:

  • My brother who lives in Cardiff is much older than me. (=I have more than one brother and the relative clause helps identify which brother I am talking about)
  • My brother, who lives in Cardiff, is much older than me. (=I have only one brother, so we don’t need the relative clause to know who I am talking about)


Relative pronouns and adverbs

Here you can see a grammar chart with the relative pronouns and adverbs that we normally use in relative clauses.
Relative clauses - Relative pronouns and relative adverbs

Common mistakes


Two subjects

When who, which or that is the subject of a relative clause, we don’t use another pronoun or noun after it, because we can only have one subject (who, which or that).

  • I saw a man who was very tall. (NOT: I saw a man who he was very tall.)
  • That is the painting that was stolen from the gallery. (NOT: That is the painting that it was stolen from the gallery.)


that between commas

We cannot use the relative pronoun that in a non-defining relative clause (between commas)

  • The victim, who suffered a concussion, said he didn’t remember the accident. (NOT, The victim, that suffered a concussion, said he didn’t remember the accident.)