A relative clause is a special type of subordinate clause that modifies a noun. It often does this by using a relative pronoun such as who or that to refer back to that noun, though the relative pronoun that is often omitted.
A relative clause may also be attached to a clause. In that case, the pronoun refers back to the whole clause, rather than referring back to a noun.
In the examples, the relative clauses are in red, and both the pronouns and the words they refer back to are in bold.
- That’s the boy who lives near school. [who refers back to boy]
- The prize that I won was a book. [that refers back to prize]
- The prize I won was a book. [the pronoun that is omitted]
- Tom broke the game, which annoyed Ali. [which refers back to the whole clause]