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eugene
20-08-2012, 11:05 AM
Relative Pronouns in Non-Defining Clauses Summary: This handout provides detailed rules and examples for the usage of relative pronouns (that, who, whom, whose, which, where, when, and why).
Contributors:Russell Keck, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2012-01-26 04:46:51

Non-defining relative clauses (also known as non-restrictive, or parenthetical, clauses) provide some additional information which is not essential and may be omitted without affecting the contents of the sentence. All relative pronouns EXCEPT "that" can be used in non-defining clauses; however, the pronouns MAY NOT be omitted. Non-defining clauses ARE separated by commas.

The table below sums up the use of relative pronouns in non-defining clauses:

<tbody>
Function in
the sentence
Reference to


People
Things / concepts
Place
Time
Reason


Subject
who
which





Object
who, whom
which
where
when
why


Possessive
whose
whose, of which




</tbody>


Relative pronoun used as a subject: The writer, who lives in this luxurious mansion, has just published his second novel.

Relative pronoun used as an object: The house at the end of the street, which my grandfather built, needs renovating.

Relative pronoun used as a possessive:
William Kellogg, whose name has become a famous breakfast foods brand-name, had some weird ideas about raising children.


Some Special Uses of Relative Pronouns in Non-Defining Clauses

which
If you are referring to the previous clause as a whole, use which: My friend eventually decided to get divorced, which upset me a lot.

of whom, of which
Use of whom for persons and of which for things or concepts after numbers and words such as most, many, some, both, none: I saw a lot of new people at the party, some of whom seemed familiar.
He was always coming up with new ideas, most of which were absolutely impracticable.




http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/645/02/