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3-有关定语从句的特殊结构


21.3 Special Structures about the Attributive Clause
1) When there is no preposition before the antecedent, the structure “preposition + which” can be used to replace the relative adverbs. when (= in / on / at / during + which) ? That was the hour at which he arrived. where (= in / on / at + which) ? This is the house in which he lives. why (= for + which) ? This is the reason for which he did not come to the meeting. how (= in / by + which) ? This is the way in which he killed Mary.

But this structure can not be used when there is a preposition before the antecedent. ? He was born in Europe, where (not: in which) the two World Wars broke out.

2) “Compound prepositions such as in front of, in the middle of, at the back of, in the front of + which” may be used to introduce a non-restrictive attributive clause, denoting “an exact place”, in which case inversion is required. ? They came to a farmhouse, in front of which sat a little boy. ? He entered a large room, in the center of which there is a round wooden table.

3) The structure “all / some / half / both / many / two / 30% / two thirds…+ of which / whom” may be used to introduce non-restrictive attributive clauses, denoting the relation between the part and the whole. ? There are thirty students in our class, nearly half of whom are Party members. ? I have many books, 30% of which are textbooks.

Note: (1) The relative pronoun introducing a restrictive attributive clause may be omitted when it is used as the object of the clause and it is not preceded by any preposition. ? This is the book (that) I lost in the reading-room. But: ? This is the film about which we were talking just now. (The relative pronoun which cannot be omitted, because it is preceded by a preposition.) ? This is Tom’s house, which was built last year. (The “which” here cannot be omitted, because it is used to introduce a non-restrictive attributive clause.)

(2) The antecedent denoting “time, place, reason or manner” is not necessarily related to the relative adverb “when, where, why or how”. The choice of the relative pronoun or relative adverb depends upon the function which the antecedent performs in the clause. ? This is the house which he bought last year. ? This is the reason which Mary gave to explain her absence from the meeting.


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