Reduced Relative Clauses


You may remove the relative pronoun and reduce your sentence in certain conditions.

The man who wants to talk to you is waiting for you.
The man wanting to talk to you is waiting for you.

Relative Clause Reduction Rules


1. In defining clauses, we can omit the relative pronoun in the position of object.

The boy who / whom / that you don’t like much wants to talk to you.
The boy you don’t like much wants to talk to you.

Note: In non-defining sentences you neither omit the relative pronoun nor use "that".

My mother, who / whom that you met yesterday, wants to talk to you.
My mother you met yesterday...


2. We can use participles when reducing the sentence.

a) Present Participle "V-ing" (simultaneous)

We stood on the bridge which connects the two halves of the city.
We stood on the bridge connecting the two halves of the city.(Present Participle)


b) Past Participle "V3 or being V3" (passive simultaneous)

The boy who was attacked by a dog was taken to hospital.
The boy attacked by a dog was taken to hospital. (Past Participle)


c) Perfect Participle "having V3" (active-explaining sth. happened before the others)

Jenna, who has lived in Florida for 20 years, has gone through several hurricanes.
Jenna, having lived in Florida for 20 years, has gone through several hurricanes.(Perfect Participle)
Having lived in Florida for 20 years, Jenna has gone through several hurricanes.(Perfect Participle)


d) Perfect Passive Participle "having been V3" (passive-explaining sth happened before the others)

Usain Bolt, who had been disqualified from the men’s 100m final after a false start, made no such mistake in the 200m.
Usain Bolt, having been disqualified from the men’s 100m final after a false start, made no such mistake in the 200m.(Perfect passive participle)
Having been disqualified from the men’s 100m final after a false start, Usain Bolt made no such mistake in the 200m.(Perfect passive participle)



3. If "To be" verb is used after a relative pronoun we can omit "Relative Pronoun + To be".

The car which is parked next to mine is very expensive.
The car parked next to mine is very expensive.

Hamlet, which was written by Shakespeare sometime in the early 1600s, is among the classics.
Hamlet, written by Shakespeare sometime in the early 1600s, is among the classics.


4. When the verb “have” meaning possession, we can omit relative pronoun and “have” and use with(+) or without(-).

Students who have enough math and English skills will be admitted.
Students with enough math and English skills will be admitted.

People who don’t have their ID cards can not get in.
People without their ID cards can not get in.


5. We can use infinitive “to” in the cases below.

1. The only...to
2. Superlative...to
3. The first, last, second, next...to

John is the only person who understands me.
John is the only person to understand me.

Tom is the most handsome boy who came to this school.
Tom is the most handsome boy to come to this school.

Jack is the first student who has handed in the exam.
Jack is the first person to have handed in the exam.

See more on relative clauses

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