Relative clauses: leaving out the relative pronoun

I haven’t posted anything for a while, so HELLO to all new subscribers who have joined up since my last post. I also want to say I hope you are well and  are managing during the coronavirus lockdown going on around the world. ‘This too shall pass’ as the saying goes.

 

 

My post today is about RELATIVE CLAUSES. I’ve noticed that many of my students make mistakes with relative clauses, and quite often this mistake is leaving out the RELATIVE PRONOUN.

So instead of writing:

Many of the respondents who answered our survey said they spoke more than one language.

They might write:

Many of the respondents answered our survey said they spoke more than one language.

Which is of course wrong! Why? Because when the relative pronoun is the SUBJECT in the sentence you can’t leave it out.

In this sentence:

This is the student who I interviewed.

Could also be written:

This is the student I interviewed.

The relative pronoun WHO can be left out because it isn’t the subject.

The resource that I am sending students to in order to study is this page from the EF English Grammar Guide which is nicely presented and easy to read and it is here.

 

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