Defining and Non-Defining Relative Clauses Worksheet for Class 8

Some relative clauses tell us which person or thing is meant. In grammars these are called identifying or restrictive relative clauses.

Example

  • The woman who lives next doors is a singer.

Here the relative clause ‘who lives next doors’ tells us which woman we are talking about. Therefore it is a defining relative clause.

Some relative clauses merely provide additional information. In grammars, they are called non-defining or non-restrictive relative clauses.

Example

  • This is Rahul, who is joining our company next week.

Here the relative clause ‘who is joining our company next week’ merely gives additional information about Rahul. Since that information is not required to identify Rahul (He has already been identified by his name), it is a non-defining relative clause.

Tips

  • Relative clauses that follow a proper noun are usually non-defining.
  • In writing, non-defining relative clauses are usually set off with a comma.

Exercise

Underline the defining and non-defining clauses in the following sentences.

1. Manjima, who is a doctor, is my neighbour.

2. My uncle lives in Berlin, which is an important city in Germany.

3. This is the stranger whom we met in the morning.

4. Do you know the girl who just walked in?

5. Sneha, who has a lovely voice, in my friend.

6. Ria, who travels a lot, is a writer.

7. Did you like the movie which you watched yesterday?

8. I don’t know anyone who has achieved all that they want.

9. The lady who lives downstairs called the police immediately.

10. The girl who is standing behind Shalini is my cousin.

Answers

1. Manjima, who is a doctor, is my neighbour. (Non-defining)

2. My uncle lives in Berlin, which is an important city in Germany. (Non-defining)

3. This is the stranger whom we met in the morning. (Defining)

4. Do you know the girl who just walked in? (Defining)

5. Sneha, who has a lovely voice, in my friend. (Non-defining)

6. Ria, who travels a lot, is a writer. (Non-defining)

7. Did you like the movie which you watched yesterday? (Defining)

8. I don’t know anyone who has achieved all that they want. (Defining)

9. The lady who lives downstairs called the police immediately. (Defining)

10. The girl who is standing behind Shalini is my cousin. (Defining)

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Manjusha Nambiar

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