Syntactic Theory

Exercises on the basis of Jeffrey P. Kaplan, English Grammar - Principles and Facts, New Jersey, 1989.

Underline the RC's in the following sentences. Circle the relative Pronoun and box its antecedent.

1. The boy seemed to be the one in charge.

2. This is the car that broke down.

3. A house that you buy for a cheap price can't be very big.

4. The students who I complained about to the teacher are very angry.

5. I bought the CDs about which you told me.

6. The little boy came by who was trying to sell cookies.

Gaps in Relative Clauses

Which of the following sentences containing relative clauses have gaps, i.e. which have moved relative pronouns? For those that do, write out the sentence linearly, inserting a blank space where the gap appears, and draw an arrow to the moved relative pronoun. In some cases, the phrase containing the relative pronoun may be moved, not just a relative pronoun alone.


i. This is the Museum of Modern Art that shows the early work of Andy Warhol.

(No gap; relative pronoun that functions as subject.)

ii. This is the Museum of Modern Art that Mies van der Rohe built.

This is the Museum of Modern Art that Mies van der Rohe built__

(__ -> that)

1. This is the car that crashed into the tree.

2. This is the man whom I helped last week.

3. This is the dress which I told you about.

4. This is the hotel about which I was complaining.

5. This is the crowd to which I was speaking at the festival.

Grammatical Relations

Identify the grammatical relation (subject, direct object, etc. and including sentence adverb) of each of the following italicized relative pronouns.

1. I sent an e-mail to the person who you told me to write to.

2. This is the boy whom Mary gave the sweets.

3. The hotel is next to the house where Jack lives.

4. Kate is the one whom he gave the flowers.

5. The restaurant that Antony has bought is shabby.

6. David is the man who owns a shop in O'Connell Street.

7. I know how he stole my car.

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