English for Intermediate Students - CEFR B1 - Lesson 23 of 25

Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Read and listen to four conversations using the grammar.

Conversation 1

Man: How is your new apartment?
Woman: Good, but it’s very noisy, so I can’t get a good night’s sleep, which is exhausting.
Man: That’s terrible. That would stress me out. Where is it exactly?
Woman: It is near the station, which gets pretty noisy at night.
Man: What about on the weekends?
Woman: It’s not much quieter then. There is a night market, which brings in lots of tourists.
Man: I know how you feel. My old workplace, which was near an airport, was always noisy.
Woman: Yeah, there is not much I can do about it now. I just have to deal with it.
Man: Well, hopefully things will turn for the better in the long run.
Woman: Thanks, I hope so.

Conversation 2

Man: What are you looking at?
Woman: This is my new smart watch, which I am totally addicted to.
Man: It looks high-tech. What does it do?
Woman: It tracks my bio-metrics, which are immediately analyzed on the app and then displayed on the screen.
Man: Oh, really. That sounds cool. How are you doing?
Woman: Not bad. It turns out I am pretty healthy, but it is still hard to interpret all the data.
Man: Those watches are so trendy these days. I want a gadget like that.
Woman: You should get one. There’re lots of fun.

Conversation 3

Man: So, how are things in your department?
Woman: Not good. I have a new role, which I hate.
Man: Oh, what is your new role?
Woman: I am now in charge of assemble line efficiency, which means I must make sure everything is working as efficiently as possible.
Man: That sounds like a role for management.
Woman: It was, but our superior quit unexpectedly, so they gave the job to me.
Man: That sounds like a lot of pressure.
Woman: It is. I am totally stressed right now.

Conversation 4

Woman: So, how are things going down at the factory?
Man: Well, the new machines, which I told you about last week, are working really well.
Woman: What about the time frame? Can we meet our production deadline?
Man: Well, the new staff, which we just hired last week, should be able to increase production.
Woman: Well, our recent commercial, which has done really well, could mean a strong demand for the product.
Man: So basically, we need to increase production fast.
Woman: Yes, you do, which means you will be working a lot of overtime, but I need you to come through on this.
Man: Well, we have a track record, which you know is pretty good, so I am confident we can do this.
Woman: That’s good to hear. I know I can count on you.

Non-defining Relative Clauses

Point 1 : Non-defining relative clauses are used to give extra information about something.
  1. I have a new puppy, which is very cute.
  2. I recently bought a new computer, which is the latest model.
  3. She walked into the house, which was painted yellow.
  4. Sally, who is our neighbor, recently got married.

Point 2 : Non-defining relative clauses are usually followed by a comma (,) and start with a relative pronoun (which, who, whose, where etc.)

Main clause + , + relative pronoun + verb + object

  1. John works for 10 hours a day, which makes him too tired to exercise.
  2. The captain praised his soldiers, who were very brave.
  3. He was fixing his car, which was damaged in an accident.
  4. Bob is not on time today, which is out of character for him.

Point 3 :Non-defining relative clauses can also come in the middle of the main clause. In this case, it starts and ends with a comma (,).

Main clause + , + relative clause + , + main clause continued

  1. My aunt, whose son recently graduated, is visiting me next week.
  2. My mother, who is 60 years old, recently went on holiday with her friends.
  3. I drove to London, where my sister lives, to buy my wedding dress.
  4. My company, which just got more funding, is not hiring lots of staff.
Point 4 : If the word being modified is the subject of the relative clause, then the subject for the clause is omitted. If the subject is different, it must be included,
  1. He did not say anything, which is odd for him.
    (Omitted - Not saying anything = same subject)
  2. He did not say anything, which Marsha thought was odd.
    (Included - Marsha thought = new subject/verb)
  3. She bought a leather dress, which is now very fashionable.
    (Omitted = leather dress = same subject)
  4. She bought a leather dress, which she plans to wear to the party.
    (Included - she plans = new subject/verb)
Point 5 : Because of the comma, when speaking we often pause before the non-defining relative clause. Try reading the sentences below. Pause after the comma.
  1. My childhood home, which was dear to me, was recently sold.
  2. The children played with the puppy, which was adorable.
  3. I asked my friend, who is an expert at drawing, to help me make the card.
  4. The news reported on a storm in Bali, which damaged many homes.
Answer these questions about the interview.
More Grammar Conversations for Intermediate Students (B1)

Grammar Listening Practice

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B1-21 Should - Assumptions
Just turn right and you should see it.

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B1-22 Correlative Conjunctions
Neither Joe nor his wife can make it.

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B1-23 Non-Defining Relative Clauses
There is a night market, which brings in lots of tourists.

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B1-24 Indirect Questions
Do you know when we start?

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B1-25 Phrasal Verbs
Yes, I just backed it up on our remote server.

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