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Relative clauses are a type of subordinate clause that provide additional information about a noun within a sentence. They are introduced by relative pronouns such as "who," "whom," "whose," "which," and "that." Relative clauses help to add descriptive details and clarify relationships between different elements in a sentence.
There are two main types of relative clauses: restrictive and non-restrictive.
Restrictive relative clauses provide essential information about the noun they modify, and they cannot be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence. These relative clauses do not require commas. For example:
"The book that I borrowed from the library is interesting." In this case, the relative clause "that I borrowed from the library" restricts the meaning of "book." It specifies which book is being referred to.
Non-restrictive relative clauses provide additional, non-essential information about the noun they modify. These relative clauses are set off by commas. For example:
"John, who is a talented musician, plays the piano beautifully." In this case, the relative clause "who is a talented musician" adds extra information about John, but it is not necessary for identifying which John is being referred to.
Relative clauses can be quite flexible in their placement within a sentence. They can come immediately after the noun they modify or at the end of the sentence. Their structure and usage can vary depending on the specific context and the relative pronoun being used.