S1E6: Giving Information Part 1: Relative Clauses Transcript

S1E6: Giving Information Part 1: Relative Clauses Transcript

Welcome to episode 6! We are constantly communicating in business. And one of the things we need to communicate is information. Whether that be giving factual information to a customer, saying what is attached to an email, highlighting key points within an email or giving advice, information is key to email writing. In this topic we will look at relative clauses. Relative clauses can begin with which, who, that, where, whose. Here are examples of each:

Who

We can use ‘who’ when we talk about people.

For example, ‘They’re the people who want to buy the company.’

Which

We can use ‘which’ when we talk about things.

For example, ‘Did you see the dog which is in the office today?’

Where

We use ‘where’ when we talk about a place or places.

For example, ‘I can’t remember where they said the meeting was going to be.’

Whose

We use ‘whose’ instead of the pronouns (his/her/their).

For example, ‘I just had an interview with a woman whose name was Susan.’

In other words: I had an interview with a woman. Her name was Susan.

That

We use ‘that’ instead of ‘who’/’which’.

For example, ‘I request you send me the files that can be found on the G-Drive.’

So, what are relative clauses used for? Well, they give information. And there are two types:

Necessary Information

The first is necessary information. Without this information, we do not know which person or thing somebody is talking about.

For example: The hotel where we stayed was very expensive.

‘Where we stayed’ tells us that the speaker stayed at a hotel. Without this information we wouldn’t know this, we’d only know that the hotel was very expensive.

Extra Information

The second type of relative clause is used to give extra information. Without this information we still know which person or thing somebody is talking about but we don’t get any extra information.

For example: I often use Twitter and Instagram for business, which is very useful.

‘Which is very useful’ is the second type of relative clause and, therefore, gives us more detail. Note: When writing the second type of relative clause (extra information) you must separate the clause with a comma (,). Another important thing to remember – you cannot use ‘that’ in a type 2 relative clause.

I think you’ll now agree that relative clauses are incredibly important. For more information you can check out our blog on the Intrepid English website or you can book a lesson with one of our teachers to discuss any questions you may have. Head over to episode 7 where the second part of giving information will be discussed.