eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 14th, 2021, 07:44 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 25th, 2015
Posts: 42
Alex80 is on a distinguished road
Default The noun before a relative pronoun

Hi everyone.

In a textbook, I found the following:

* The hotel has a swimming pool. It is very big. (Combine with a relative clause)

The answer is: The hotel has a swimming pool that is very big.

Question 1: Why is there one answer? why can't we say it like this:

"The hotel that is big has a swimming pool ."?

Question 2: Is it true that the clause is defining(restrictive) because there is an indefinite article before the noun' a swimming pool'?

Or can we say that the pronoun "it" should refer to the part " the pool" not to the whole" the hotel"?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 15th, 2021, 01:32 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 25th, 2015
Posts: 42
Alex80 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: The noun before a relative pronoun

Still waiting for a reply.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 18th, 2021, 04:57 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,393
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: The noun before a relative pronoun

First of all, remember what I've said again and again. It's not a matter of rules but of meaning/context. Trying to combine the propositions (ideas) without knowing the context makes no sense. So for instance

a) If you mean The hotel has a very big swimming pool , then you could also say: The hotel has a swimming pool which is very big Here which (or that) refers to the swimming pool and defines a specific quality of the pool.

b) But look at the following:
A. There's a small hotel and a big one. They're both nice, but we prefer the big one.
B : Why?
A: Well, the small hotel is family run and very friendly, but the other one - the hotel that's bigger - has a lovely swimming pool.
This time, that (or which) refers to the hotel. Again it's defining and explains which of the two hotels I'm talking about.

So in your example : The hotel has a swimming pool. It is very big. the lack of context means that it's impossible to say what "it" refers to. (The hotel? Or the swimming pool?) And this is why you can't decide how to combine them. It depends entirely on what you want to say. The writer of the activity was obviously working on the assumption that, without a context, "it" should be understood as referring to the last singular noun - but if you add a context it wouldn't necessarily be true.

Whether it's defining or not has no connection with the article. Again it's a matter of meaning. Defining clauses explain (ie define) what/who exactly you're talking about. Non-defining clauses simply give extra information. For example, in what follows who lives in America defines which brother i'm now talking about:

A : Your brother David lives in America, doesn't he? And Anne told me he's a doctor.
B: No actually I have two brothers. My brother David lives in Scotland and he's a lawyer. My brother who lives in America is Steven. And yes, he's a doctor.

And compare it with:
She has a brother and a sister. The brother, who lives in Scotland, is called David and he's a lawyer.
This time it's not necessary to "define which brother" I'm talking about, because there's only one. Notice the commas, (which could also be parentheses or dashes, and would become a slight pause if spoken). They show that the clause is non-defining and just contains extra information about the referent. The relative clause could be taken out of the sentence and it would remain totally comprehensible.

Notice incidentally that that can only be used in defining relative clauses (as an alternative to which/who). In non-defining clauses that is impossible and which/who obligatory.

Last edited by susan53 : Feb 19th, 2021 at 06:25 am.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 19th, 2021, 08:21 am
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 25th, 2015
Posts: 42
Alex80 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: The noun before a relative pronoun

"The hotel has a swimming pool that is very big."
Is this defining realtive clause " identifying" or " classifying?
Thank you very very much for helping me out.

Last edited by susan53 : Feb 22nd, 2021 at 06:27 am.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 22nd, 2021, 07:01 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,393
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: The noun before a relative pronoun

It's really closer to a non-defining clause, as it really just adds information. That's why I think that sounds a bit odd here - notice I've used which. It's a grey area. Again the problem is the lack of context. Compare it with.

The hotel has a swimming pool that's really big, and two others that are smaller.
Here the clauses are clearly defining as I'm distinguishing between them. Compare it with :
There are two types of camel. A camel that only has one hump is called a dromedary; the type that has two humps is called a bactrian. Here I seem to be classifying.

Quirk et al in A Grammar of Contemporary English point out though that relative clauses can refer either back to a) a definite person or thing - The man that took the money had red hair - in which case there's frequently a definite determiner, or b) forward - in which case the determiner is often indeterminate - A camel that only has one hump is called a dromedary.

In (a) you can take the relative clause out and the sentence remains comprehensible/correct - The man had red hair.
In (b) you can't do that : * A camel is called a dromedary.

This, I think, is where the distinction between definite and indefinite determiners is important. Not in the type of clause but whether the reference is backward (anaphoric) or forward (cataphoric).

That doesn't mean though that indefinite determiners are impossible in defining relative clauses with anaphoric reference :
Any book that you read will tell you the same thing
A girl that I know has just come into the room.

The sentences Any book will tell you the same thing / A girl has just come into the room are fine. It's a matter of frequency, not a rule - and as always, frequency depends on contexts.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 22nd, 2021, 10:53 pm
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 25th, 2015
Posts: 42
Alex80 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: The noun before a relative pronoun

Got it.Thanks a bunch.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
Relative Clauses 4
Confused about the two clauses joined by the relative pronoun WHOM. 1
Reduced relative clauses 1
Comma before a relative pronoun? 2
noun clauses vs. relative clauses 5

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
Relative Clauses 4
Confused about the two clauses joined by the relative pronoun WHOM. 1
Reduced relative clauses 1
Comma before a relative pronoun? 2
noun clauses vs. relative clauses 5


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:14 am.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2