This activity requires that students have some knowledge of relative clauses. The aim of the activity is to help students distinguish restrictive (defining) relative clauses from non restrictive (non defining) clauses.

The activity

  • Write on the board the following two sentences:
    • Michael Jackson, who was a famous singer, died of an overdose.
    • The man who sent the anonymous letter is the real murderer.
  • Ask students to do the following:
    • Underline the relative clauses.
    • Underline the relative pronouns.
    • Decide which relative clause is important and necessary to the meaning of the sentence.
    • Decide which relative clause is not necessary to the meaning of the sentence.
    • identify which clause is put between commas.
  • Give definitions of restrictive and non restrictive clauses.
    • Restrictive relative clauses (also called identifying relative clauses or defining relative clauses) give detailed information defining a general term or expression. They are not put between commas.
    • Non- restrictive relative clauses (also called non-identifying relative clauses or non- defining relative clauses) give additional information about something, but do not define it. They are put between commas.
  • Students identify in the sentences above which clause is restrictive and which one is non restrictive.

Follow up

Students complete the following sentences using appropriate relative clauses:

  1. Barack Obama…
  2. The girl…
  3. My mother…
  4. The boy….
  5. The house….
  6. My elder sister…