Unit 5.1

Non-Defining Relative Clauses

Complex Clauses


Relative clauses (defining and non-defining) give extra information about a person, a thing etc. {see Relative pronouns, A1 Level}

Non-defining relative clauses give us information just like defining clauses. The information that is given by non-defining relative clauses is extra, it is not necessary.


To create a non-defining relative clause, we use relative pronouns which, who, whose or whom.

We find these relative pronouns at the start of the non-defining relative clause, and they refer to a noun that appears in the sentence.

Their structure is:
Subject + , + Relative Pronoun + Relative Clause + , + Verb + …

NOTE: Even if you remove non-defining relative clauses, the sentence would be still grammatically correct.


  • The car, which is red, belongs to my daughter-in-law.
  • Joanna, who lives in Turkey, gave birth to her first child.
  • My grandfather, who has not got gray hair, invited me to the neighbourhood meeting.


We use non-defining relative clauses to give information, just like defining relative clauses do.

However, information given by non-defining relative clauses do not help us to describe something or somebody and they are not mandatory or necessary for the meaning of the main clause, so thay can be omitted.



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