Contact Construction

Have you ever heard people say how important contacts are in our world? Well, they may be talking about a different sort of contacts, but I can promise you our sort is more exciting. You will learn here how two bodies get closer and closer up to a point where there is nothing between them and they finally - hold your breath - touch. Do you like that? O.K., so lean back in your chair and read on.

Do you remember the main clause and the relative clause who wanted to spend the rest of their lives together in one sentence? It was not a story with a happy end. There was always something between them. Something that separated one from the other. We called it "relative pronoun", right? Well, in the table below you can learn when you can throw out the trouble maker.

like any other defining relative clause

(use link in upper right corner to go back there)

Find the subject of the relative clause
(not the main clause!)

If the relative pronoun is not the subject...

...you can simply leave it out of the sentence.

subjects of relative clauses are marked

contact construction impossible

This is the car which was here yesterday.

He met a girl who is better than her.

contact construction possible

This is the car which I saw here yesterday.

(This is the car I saw here yesterday.)

He met a girl who he likes better than her.

(He met a girl he likes better than her.)



Let's try

Combine the sentences and leave out the relative pronoun if possible

1. Little Red Riding Hood went into the wood. Her grandma lived there.
2. She collected some flowers. She found the flowers deep in the wood.
3. Then she opened the bottle of wine and waited. She had bought the bottle for her date with the wolf.
4. But the wolf was late. He was still in grandma's bed.


1. Little Red Riding Hood went into the wood where her grandma lived.
2. She collected some flowers she found deep in the wood.
3. Then she opened the bottle of wine she had bought for her date with the wolf and waited.
4. But the wolf, who was still in grandma's bed, was late.