Hi Guys,

In the book Understanding English Grammar by Kolln and Funk, pg 149, they talk about adjectivals modifying nouns.  In this instance, the relative clause.

The use the following sentence as an example:

(1) You can choose a color that you like

and also say it is also grammatical without the that, as in

(2) You can choose a color you like 

My question: If you only see the text in (2), is there a way to identify that a relative pronoun is missing?

For instance, nouns are easily identified due to determiners, which are a small structure class.

Many thanks,





Original Post

Note: Interestingly enough, when the adjectival clause is introduced by a relative adverbs (where, when, why),  does the same deletion pattern apply:

Pg 150 of the same book

(1) Newsworthy events rarely happen in the small town where I was born

could you have 

(2) Newsworthy events rarely happen in the small town I was born


Hi, Philip,

As you know, you don't need a relative word (relative pronoun, determiner or adverb) at the beginning of a clause to realize it's a relative clause. In the absence of a relative word, the presence of a clause formed at least by a subject and a verb after a noun antecedent will reveal the existence of a relative clause:

- You can choose a color you like.

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