The attributive clause functions as a postpositive attribute to a noun or pronoun in the main clause. It always immediately follows the modified word (the antecedent):
The doctor who treated me didnít know what he was doing.
There is a problem which worries me.
I saw a girl whose beauty took my breath away.
She married a nice architect from Belfast, whom she met on a bus.
TYPES OF ATTRIBUTIVE CLAUSES
There are the following types of attributive clauses:
1. Non-appositive (relative):
a. restrictive (defining)
b. non-restrictive (non-defining)
c. continuative (co-ordinating, sentence-relative)
UNIT 1. NON-APPOSITIVE ATTRIBUTIVE CLAUSES
1.1. Restrictive & non-restrictive clauses
1.1.1. Connection & punctuation
I. restrictive clauses (defining) are closely connected with the antecedent and restrict its meaning or give important information about it which makes its meaning full. It cannot be removed from the sentence without changing its meaning. Such clauses are introduced by the pronouns who(m), whose, which, that and adverbs: where, when and are not separated by a comma:
The woman who lives next door is away on holiday now.
She is the woman whose car was stolen.
The tiles which fell off the roof caused serious damage.
The village where my grandparents were born is a big town now.
The time when he joined us was the most prosperous for the firm.
They also may be introduced asyndetically:
The person I complained to is the manager.
II. non-restrictive (non-defining) give additional information about their antecedent. Such clauses can be easily left out without damaging the sense of the whole sentence. They are introduced by the same pronouns and adverbs except for that. Asyndetical connection is not characteristic either. Non-restrictive attributive clauses are separated by a comma:
I went to see the doctor, who told me to rest for a few days.
Sheila, whose job involves a lot of travelling, is away from home a lot.
We often go to visit our friends in Bristol, which is only 30 miles away.
Ex.5. Add commas where necessary:
1. We enjoyed the city where we spent our vacation. 2. We enjoyed Mexico City where we spent our vacation. 3. An elephant which is the earth's largest land mammal has few natural enemies other than human beings. 4. One of the elephants which we saw at the zoo had only one tusk. 5. At the botanical gardens, you can see a Venus's-flytrap which is an insectivorous plant. 6. In Venezuela, there are plants that eat insects with their roots. 7. One of the most useful materials in the world is glass which is made chiefly from sand, soda, and lime. 8. Glaciers which are masses of ice that flow slowly over land form in the cold polar regions and in high mountains. 9. A rebel is a person who resists or fights against authority. 10. Petroleum which some people refer to as black gold is one of the most valuable resources in the world today. 11. You don't need to take heavy clothes when you go to Bangkok which has one of the highest average temperatures of any city in the world. 12. A political party is an organized group of people who control or seek to control a government. 13. Child labor was a social problem in late eighteenth-century England where employment in factories became virtual slavery for children. 14. We had to use a telephone, so we went to the nearest house. The woman who answered our knock listened cautiously to our request. 15. According to a newspaper article which I read, the police arrested the man who had robbed the First National Bank. The man who was wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans was caught shortly after he had left the bank. 16. I watched a scientist conduct an experiment on bees. The research scientist who was well protected before she stepped into the special chamber holding the bees was not stung. A person who was unprotected by the special clothing could have gotten 300 to 400 bee stings within a minute.