The Importance of Relative Clauses

دوره: Mastering ielts writing task 1 academic / فصل: Tuning the Response (Grammatical Range and Accuracy) / درس 4

The Importance of Relative Clauses

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This lecture will focus on one more important feature of grammar that we really should be trying to include in our task responses. And this is relative clauses for a number of reasons relative clauses are very useful and they’re a vital piece of grammar for expanding range and demonstrating understanding of the task. First of all we need to ask the question What exactly are relative clauses. Well we use relative clauses to clarify who or what we are talking about. This is called a defining relative clause or to give more information about something without writing another sentence. This is called a non defining relative clause defining relative clauses do not need a comma before the relative pronoun they should not have a comma before the relative pronoun. So the country which sells the most oil is Saudi Arabia. So here you can see the relative pronoun is which. Notice that a comma does not come before it. Non defining relative closes on the other hand do need a comma before the relative pronoun. Saudi Arabia sells over a million barrels of oil which makes it the most active exporter of this fossil fuel. Notice the pause in my voice that is because there is a comma before the relative pronoun which that is really really important and that comma must be there. If it is not there you are going to lose marks for grammar and punctuation. So with that in mind as try a matching exercise here based on the chart that we look to in the previous lecture. So I want you to look at the sentences below and see if you can match the endings or in some cases the middles. So you can pause the video here and see if you can work out which numbers 1 2 and 3 match with which letters A B and C and when you’ve done that you can press play and then will have a look together OK. Let’s have a look. So number one. Sweden imported just over 50000 kilograms of bananas in 2011 which was twice as many as the figures for Norway and Iceland. Here we have a non defining relative clause with choosing to offer a little bit more information to the reader without adding another sentence to Norway which imported half as many bananas as Sweden imported twice as many other fruits. Now notice that the non defining relative clause can be slotted in the middle of a sentence if appropriate. Finally number three. First place for Apple imports went to the same country which imported the most oranges bananas. Here we are defining the country the country which imported the most oranges and bananas. So we have a defining relative clause and therefore we remove the comma I’d recommend practicing relative clauses just so that you feel a little bit more confident about which expressions will use a comma and therefore are non defining relative to and which ones do not use a comma and therefore are defining relative clauses. Now how would we use relative clauses when writing our task corm response non defining relative clauses are especially useful particularly when you want to offer a little more information about a point but you don’t want to start a new sentence that bit more information might be offering a superlative offering a comparative. So have a look at an example here by having a look at this pie chart that we’ve seen before. Coal makes up 44 percent of all energy supply which makes it the largest provider of energy. So we’re choosing to add more information known defining use to comma followed by which then we’ve got a superlative the largest provider of energy Thirty six percent of energy output is composed of gas which is three times more than that of solar power. Again we’re choosing to add that little bit more information this time with a comparative. But the same rule applies karma which are the first close coal and gas combined constitute four fifths of total energy supplied which means renewable sources of energy are nowhere near as common as nonrenewable sources. Again here we are choosing to add a bit more information. Another comparative nowhere near as common. But we’ve combined data together. So here you can see that we use relative clauses to cover a huge range of information so try practicing with relative clauses when you come to your next response and see if that offers you an opportunity to provide the reader with more information without having to use separate sentences.

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