Relative clauses, also known as adjective or attributive clauses, are a type of complex sentence in English grammar.
The two main types are defining and non-defining relative clauses.
Relative clause fragments are when the independent clause is missing in your sentence.
Relative clauses describe or provide information about someone or something that has usually already been specified:
Relative clauses are also a way in which clauses can be combined so that we do not repeat ourselves:
Relative clauses begin with one of these relative pronouns:
These words though, are not just used for relative clauses, so you can't assume if you see one it is a relative clause.
It is the sentence position and the context that will tell us whether it is a relative clause or not.
Relative clauses follow whatever it is that they are qualifying.
They commonly qualify or give more information about a noun. This is why they are also known as adjective clauses.
An adjective describes or clarifies a noun, and in a similar way, a relative or adjective clause gives more information about or defines a noun.
So in this case they will come directly after the noun:
If they are qualifying a whole clause, then they come directly after that clause:
You'll have noted in the above examples that the relative clause comes after the main clause.
However, they can also spit up the main clause. This is if they are qualifying a noun which is the subject of the sentence, in which case they are embedded within the main clause: