# Lesson video

In progress...

Hello, my name's Mrs. Smart.

Welcome to today's English lesson.

In this lesson, we're going to be learning all about relative clauses.

So if you're ready, let's get started.

In this lesson, you will need an exercise book or some lined paper, a pen or a pencil to write with, and a ruler.

If you haven't got a ruler, it doesn't matter.

Anything that you can use to draw a straight line is absolutely fine.

Now, if you haven't got those things with you right now, pause the recording and go and get them.

The agenda for today's lesson is as follows.

We're going to start by looking at what complex sentences are.

We're then going to move on to identifying some relative clauses in complex sentences.

Then you're going to have a go at practising using relative clauses in complex sentences, and then lastly, we're going to finish with your independent task.

What is a complex sentence? A complex sentence is made up of a main clause and a subordinate clause, so it must have both types of clause to be called a complex sentence.

Now, a good way of remembering the difference between a main clause and the subordinate clause is thinking about Mr. Main and Mr. Subordinate.

Mr. Main is a little bit like Batman.

He can solve crimes and save people all on his own.

He doesn't need anyone to help him.

So he can do it on his own.

Mr. Subordinate, on the other hand, is a little bit like Robin, Batman's helper.

He helps Mr. Main, but he can't actually do anything on his own.

He can't save people.

He can't fight crimes.

He just helps Batman.

So Mr. Main can do things on his own, and Mr. Subordinate is the helper.

He must always be with Mr. Main.

And that's a really good way of remembering the difference between a main clause and a subordinate clause in complex sentences.

Now, another really important thing to remember is that a clause must contain a verb.

So if it hasn't got a verb, it's not a main clause, and it's not a subordinate clause.

What does a clause have to include? A verb, well done.

Also, subordinate clauses must always start with subordinating conjunctions, and they join the subordinate clause and the main clause together.

And there are lots of different types of subordinating conjunctions.

There can be subordinating conjunctions like because and when and so and after and as.

All of these words join main clauses and subordinate clauses together, so they are subordinating conjunctions.

What are they called? Excellent, subordinating conjunctions.

So let's start with thinking about what a main clause is.

The main clause is the main part of the sentence, and it makes sense on its own.

So remember Mr. Main could go and save people all on his own.

Have a look at this example here.

"Grey wolves have thick claws so they can grip onto uneven ground." I know that "Grey wolves have thick claws" must be the main clause because that part of the sentence makes sense on its own.

I could have a full stop after claws, and that could be a sentence in its own right, so I know it must be the main clause.

Let's look at another example.

"As grey wolves are carnivores, they only eat meat." I know "They only eat meat" could be a sentence in its own right.

It makes sense on its own.

So that must be the main clause.

And you can see in the first example, the main clause is at the beginning of the sentence.

And in the second example, the main clause is at the end of the sentence.

They can be either way round.

A subordinate clause adds extra information to a sentence, but it does not make sense on its own.

It couldn't be a sentence in its own right.

Let's look at the same two examples again.

"Grey wolves have thick claws so they can grip onto uneven ground." "So they can grip onto uneven ground," that couldn't be a sentence on its own.

I couldn't have a capital letter for so and a full stop at the end.

That wouldn't make sense.

Also, I can see that there is the word so, and I know that is a subordinating conjunction, so that must be the beginning of my subordinate clause.

If we have a look at this example, "as grey wolves are carnivores," again, that couldn't be a main clause because it doesn't make sense on its own, so it must be the subordinate clause.

And again, I can see it starts with the word as, which I know is a subordinating conjunction that starts the subordinate clause.

We can see that the subordinate clause can go at the end of the sentence, and the conjunction goes in the middle, as in the first example, or the subordinate clause can go at the beginning of the sentence, and, again, it will start with a conjunction at the beginning of the sentence.

Right, now it's your turn.

Can you identify the main clause in these sentences? "When prey is not available, grey wolves steal food from other animals." Pause the recording.

Think about which bit makes sense on its own.

Excellent, hopefully you identified "Grey wolves steal food from other animals," as the main clause because that part of the sentence makes sense on its own.

Let's see if you can identify a subordinate clause this time.

"Grey wolves are under threat because their habitat is being destroyed by humans." Pause the recording.

Find the subordinate clause, the part that doesn't make sense on its own.

Great job, hopefully you found "because their habitat is being destroyed by humans." Also, there was another big clue that I'm sure you all spotted.

The subordinate clause starts with because, which I know is a subordinating conjunction.

It links the main clause to the subordinate clause.

Right, we're doing so well with identifying clauses and subordinate clauses.

I hope you are ready for the next challenge because we are now going to move on to our main part of our learning today, which is about relative clauses.

A relative clause is a special type of subordinate clause that modifies a noun or a clause.

Modifies means it adds extra information to the noun or the clause.

A relative clause starts with a relative pronoun.

Who or which are very common ones, but there are some other ones as well.

Today, we're going to focus mainly on who and which.

A relative clause is always positioned in the middle or at the end of a sentence.

Let's have a look at an example.

"Grey wolves have a thick," sorry.

"Grey wolves have a layer of thick fur, which provides insulation in cold conditions." "Which provides insulation in cold conditions" is my relative clause.

You can see it adds extra information to the noun fur.

It tells me more about the fur.

If I took away the relative clause, it would still make sense.

This must be my main clause, "Grey wolves have a layer of thick fur," full stop.

That's my main clause.

It makes sense on its own.

It's my Mr. Main.

"Which provides insulation in cold conditions" is my subordinate clause, but it's a relative clause because it begins with a relative pronoun, which.

And you notice there is a comma before which that shows that it is separate from the main clause.

Let's look at another example.

"Grey wolves, which are related to domestic dogs, are found Europe, Asia, and North America." This relative clause complex sentence is a little bit different because the relative clause is dropped right in the middle of the main clause, a little bit like a filling in a sandwich or a burger.

So your main clause is the bread on either side, and your relative clause is your juicy beef burger or your sandwich filling.

So it adds extra information to the noun.

It tells me more about grey wolves.

If I took out the relative clause, I would be left with, "Grey wolves are found in Europe, Asia, and North America." That's a main clause because it makes sense on its own.

And you can see this time when I've got the relative clause in the middle of the sentence, I've got commas around it to show that that's extra information dropped into the middle, and it could be taken out.

Now it's your turn.

Can you identify the relative clauses in the following sentences? "Tigers, which are known for their iconic stripes, are one of the most widely recognised animals in the world." Pause the recording and try and find the relative clause.

Excellent, well done.

Hopefully you found "which are known for their iconic stripes." There were some big clues.

One was the word which, which we know is our relative pronoun, which a relative clause always starts with, and secondly, our commas either side of our relative clause.

And this is one of our burger or our sandwich relative clauses where it goes right in the middle of our main clause.

Have a go at another one.

Can you identify the relative clause in this sentence? "Tigers are predators, which means they catch and eat other animals." Pause the recording.

Find the relative clause.

Good job, hopefully you found "which means they catch and eat other animals." That's my relative clause.

It adds extra information to the noun predators.

It actually tells me what the word predators means if I wasn't sure.

Some clues to spot that hopefully you spotted were which, which is our relative pronoun, which always starts our relative clause, and a comma, which makes the relative clause separate.

And you can see this relative clause is at the end of the sentence.

It's not one of my sandwich or burger style.

It's not dropped into the middle.

It's at the end.

Now, relative pronouns.

We're focusing today on the relative pronouns who and which.

Now, when do I use who? When do we use which? Let's look at this example.

"David Attenborough," who's this man here in this picture if you don't know him.

"David Attenborough, who is a famous naturalist, is best known for presenting wildlife documentaries." Now, in that example, the relative clause starts with who.

Let's look at another example.

"The Great Barrier Reef, which is the world's largest coral reef, can be found off the coast of Australia." Now, that example, I've used the relative pronoun which.

How come in the first sentence I've used who and the second sentence I've used which? Pause the recording, and try and explain why now.

Well done if you managed to explain that.

That's quite a tricky one.

So I use the relative pronoun who when I'm talking about people, and David Attenborough, of course, is a person.

And I use the relative pronoun which when I'm talking about things or objects or animals, for example.

So the Great Barrier Reef is a thing.

It's a coral reef, which is found under the sea.

Well done if you managed to explain that.

That was really tricky.

So now it's your chance to have a go at writing some relative clauses.

I'm going to give you the main clause, the main part of the sentence that makes sense on its own, and you are going to try and add a relative clause that adds extra information to the noun.

Let's have a look at the first example.

I'm going to read it to you.

"Giraffes can reach leaves nearly six metres off the ground." I would like you to write this full sentence, but I want you to add in a relative clause after the word giraffes.

Remember, your relative clause needs to add extra information to the noun, which is giraffes.

And think carefully about which relative pronoun you're going to use.

Are you going to use who or are you going to use which if you are writing about an animal? Pause the recording and write your sentence now.

Great, well, I hope you've written that first sentence.

Now we're going to have another practise.

Have a read of this sentence.

"David Attenborough has visited every continent on earth." Can you add a relative clause into this sentence after the words David Attenborough that adds extra information to the noun David Attenborough? Now, remember, David Attenborough is a person, so which relative pronoun are you going to use? Are you going to use a who or are you going to use a which? Pause the recording and write your full sentence now.

Excellent, well, hopefully you have written two sentences now, two complex sentences with relative clauses embedded in the middle.

Let's have a look at my examples.

Now, yours might be different because we might have written different relative clauses.

There's lots of extra information that you could've given about giraffes and about David Attenborough, but let's check off carefully.

So I've written, "Giraffes," comma, "which have long necks," comma, "can reach leaves nearly six metres off the ground." Now, you need to check, have you got your commas around your relative clause, and then have you used the relative pronoun which because, remember, you are writing about an animal.

Now let's look at my example for David Attenborough.

"David Attenborough, who is a wildlife enthusiast, has visited every continent on earth." Now, again, you might have a different relative clause, but check you've got your commas around the relative clause, after David Attenborough and before has, and have you used the relative pronoun noun who because you are writing about a person.

Well done if you've got that correct.

Now it is time for you to apply everything that you have learnt in today's lesson in your independent task.

Can you write some complex sentences with relative clauses? I want you to do at least three, but I'm sure that all of you can do more than that.

Try to use your relative clauses in the middle and at the end of your sentences.

So remember that burger or that sandwich sentence with the relative clause dropped in the middle or at the end of the sentence.

Underline or highlight the relative clause.

So remember that ruler that you got at the beginning of the lesson.

Use that to identify your relative clause so anyone checking your work will be able to see it really clearly.

Remember, commas around an embedded relative clause and a comma before the relative clause if you're using one at the end.

Also, I should mention, I'm sure you haven't forgotten this, remembering to use the relative pronoun which when you're talking about things or objects or animals, and writing, and using, sorry, the relative pronoun who when you are writing about a person.

It's totally up to you what you want to write your sentences about.

I've written many of mine about animals, but you might want to write them about something else.

Remember, we are going to be writing non-chronological reports, so if you can write sentences that you would be able to use in a report, that's going to be most useful to you.

I'm going to show you one last example to remind you before you're going to go off and complete your independent task for today's lesson.

"Grey wolves," comma, "which are related to domestic dogs," comma, "are found in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Remember, my commas around my relative clause.

I've used a which relative pronoun because I'm referring to an animal, and I've added extra information to the noun, which is grey wolves.

Congratulations, you have completed your lesson for today.

If you would like to, please share your work with your parent or carer.

I will see you in your next lesson.