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SS2: ENGLISH - 1ST TERM

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  1. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 1
    4 Topics
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    2 Quizzes
  2. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 2
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    2 Quizzes
  3. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 3
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    1 Quiz
  4. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 4
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  5. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 5
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    2 Quizzes
  6. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 6
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  7. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 7
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    2 Quizzes
  8. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 8
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    1 Quiz
  9. SS2: English Language First Term – Week 9
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A relative pronoun is used to connect a clause or a phrase to a noun or pronoun. The clause modifies or qualifies the noun.

The most common relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, and that. Sometimes, when and where can be used as relative pronouns as well.

Relative pronouns are placed directly after the noun or pronoun which they qualify.

Examples:

1. The driver who ran away had knocked down the boy.
2. The children whom we love dearly need better education.
3. Never go to a doctor whose qualifications are in doubt.
4. The book which is now out of print has all the information you need.
5. This is the book that everyone is talking about.

In each of the examples above, the subject of the sentence is described by a relative clause (which has been emphasized). Since these clauses describe or qualify a noun or pronoun, they are also known as adjectival clauses, because they act like adjectives in the sentences. Occasionally, the relative adverbs when and where are also used as relative pronouns.

Examples:

1. Grandma remembers a time when radio shows were popular.
2. I want to go to a resort where the food is free.

In sentence 1, when can be replaced with “on which” or “in which” while in sentence 2 where can be replaced with “in which.

Defining Versus Non-Defining Relative Clauses:

When relative pronouns are used to add descriptive information, the information is either defining or non-defining.

A defining clause – also known as a restrictive clause – gives essential information about the noun in question. It is so important that it cannot be cut out of the sentence. If it is cut out, the sentence loses its intended meaning.

Examples:

1. This is the dog that was hit by a car.
2. I do not like people who interrupt me.

In both cases, the emphasized clauses contain critical information. You can tell this because if you cut out the clause, the meaning of the sentence is fundamentally different. For example, saying “I do not like people” is very different from saying: “I do not like people who interrupt me.”

Note that defining clauses require no additional punctuation.

On the other hand, non-defining clauses add information that is nice to have but is not essential to the sentence’s overall meaning. They could be deleted and the sentence would convey basically the same information.

Examples:

1. This painting, which I adore, is worth over a million naira.
2. The teacher, who was about to retire,  began writing her memoirs.

In both cases, you could cut out the non-defining clause and still understand the point of the sentence. The important part is that the paint is worth a million naira; the fact that it is adored is merely nice to know.

Note that non-defining clauses are set apart from the main sentence by commas, which help to indicate its less important status in the sentence.

References:

1. Oral English Without Tears by I. Udoka.
2. New Oxford Secondary English Course for SSS2 by Ayo Banjo et al.
3. Intensive English for SSS2 by B.O Oluikpe et al.
4. School Certificate English Language by I. Udoka. 

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