Defining relative clauses

You will study relative clauses that give essential information about someone or something.


Defining relative clauses

The island of New Guinea

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the words in bold.

According to various studies, Papuan people, other Melanesians, and Aboriginal Australians are the only known modern humans whose prehistoric ancestors interbred with the Denisova hominin, with whom they share 3 – 5% of their genome.

Yñigo Ortiz de Retez was the man who gave the name of New Guinea, referring to the similarities of the indigenous people’s appearance with the natives of the Guinea region of Africa.

Whatever the origin of the name Papua, it came to be associated with Halmahera, which was known to the Portuguese by this name during the era of their colonization in this part of the world.

The Australians and Polynesians. Retrieved and adapted May, 2017 from

Getting started: Some New Guinea’s features

Instructions: Read the text to do the activity suggested.

New Guinea is a country where you can find a great variety of marsupials, vegetation, insects and birds.

Papua New Guinea includes the eastern half of the world’s second biggest island, New Guinea, bordering the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya to the west. The rest of the country is made up of about 600 small islands, the chief of which are the Bismarck Archipelago, the Trobriands, the Louisiade Archipelago, the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, and some of the islands in the Solomons group, including Bougainville.

The country holds ceremonies where hundreds of valuables or pigs are distributed to all the guests.

The Australians and Polynesians. Retrieved and adapted May, 2017 from

Instructions: Match the two halves of the sentences

the Bismarck archipielago is one of the most notorious.includes the eastern half of New Guinea island, is beautiful.hundreds of valuables or pigs are distributed.a great variety of marsupials, insects and birds live.

1. New Guinea is a country where _______________

2. Papua New Guinea, which _______________

3. The country includes about 600 small islands where _______________

4. The country holds ceremonies where _______________

Let’s learn about Defining Relative Clauses

Instructions: Read about Defining Relative Clauses:

We use defining relative clauses to give essential information about someone or something. It is information that we need in order to understand what or who is being referred to. A defining relative clause usually comes immediately after the noun it describes. Relative clauses gives relevant information.


Things-Which, that
People -Who, that, whom
Possession -Whose
Places -Where


  • New Guinea is a country where you find many tribes and social groups.
  • This is the country which you will learn a lot about this topic.
  • Nueva Guinea is the country that we visited last year.


So interesting!

Instructions: Write and appropriate relative pronoun.

  1. New Guinea is the world’s second biggest island covers a land area of 785,753 km2.
  2. It was in 1975 Papua and New Guinea was renamed Papua New Guinea.
  3. The name of Irian refered to people used to live in Papua.
  4. There are three kinds of kangaroos live in New Guinea, they belong to the indigenous marsupials.
  5. The Hooded Pitohui is a bird the world’s only known poisonous native bird.
  6. The Warwagira is a Festival masked forest spirits came out of the sea.
  7. In New Guinea you can find brilliant green scarab beetles are used for jewellery.
  8. The raggiana is one of the bird-of-paradise is an endemic and native to New Guinea.
  9. 39 mammal and 32 bird species are just some animals are endangered.
  10. Tradition calls for older men and women to cut off fingers a spouse or close family member passes away.
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More interesting facts

Instructions: Choose the appropriate relative pronoun.

  1. Construction of roads is hampered by the rugged mountainous environment where/when the total national road network extends to 19,600 km.
  2. By 2013 figures, the Papua New Guinea population stands just above 7 million who /whose 850 indigenous languages are spoken here.
  3. In 2007 the Tolai tribe apologized for killing and eating four 19 th century missionaries who /which were murdered and subsequently cooked and eaten.
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Puncak Jaya

Instructions: Read the following facts about New Guinea and write an appropriate relative pronoun. Use where, which, when and who.

  1. Puncak Jaya is a mist covered limestone mountain makes New Guinea the world’s fourth highest landmass.
  2. Papua New Guinea is a country you can find more than 600 small islands around it.
  3. The government didn’t used to interfere with traditional methods of land tenure, now interest and new measures have being introduced are being applied along the four national parks.
  4. It was in September 1975 the territory of Papua New Guinea gained full independence from Australia.
  5. Spanish and Portuguese were the first European had contact with New Guinea in the 16th century.
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