OU Degree 6th Sem English Unit 4 Vocabulary, Grammar

OU Degree 6th Sem English Unit 4 Vocabulary, Grammar

Vocabulary – One-Word Substitutes

One-word substitutes are words that can be used to replace a group of words or a full sentence without any loss of meaning. One-word substitutes are an essential feature of vocabulary building and they help us make our writing crisp and precise. Take a look at the following sentence:

  • He went to the shop to buy some paper, pens, files and pads.
    This can be rewritten as follows:
  • He went to the shop to buy some stationery.

Exercise I.

Match the descriptions in column I with their one-word substitutes in column II.

I Answer II
1. One who knows many languages d. a) Valetudinarian
2. One who dislikes or distrusts women i. b) Pessimist
3. One who loves books h. c) Altruist
4. One who is doubtful about the existence of god f. d) Polyglot
5. A person who doubts accepted opinions n. e) Feminist
6. One who is unaffected by joy or grief j. f) Agnostic
7. A person who believes that everything is motivated by selfishness m. g) Misanthrope
8. A person who expects the worst b. h) Bibliophile
9. One who hates or mistrusts humankind g. i) Misogynist
10. A person who supports women’s rights e. j) Stoic
11. A person who is overly anxious about his/her health a. k) Hypocrite
12. A person who is selfless and has concern for the welfare of others c. I) Maverick
13. A person who is 70-years old o. m) Cynic
14. A person of unorthodox or unconventional views l. n) Sceptic
15. A person who pretends to be what he/she is not k. o) Septuagenarian

Exercise II.

Match the descriptions in column I with their one-word substitutes in column II.

I Answer II
1. Open to more than one possible meaning or interpretation e. a) Reticent
2. Script or print that is impossible or hard to read g. b) Soporific
3. Not fit or qualified i. c) Fastidious
4. Not speaking freely or openly a. d) Congenital
5. Capable of being understood h. e) Ambiguous
6. Difficult or impossible to understand j. f) Congenial
Causing sleep or drowsiness b. g) Illegible
8. Excessively attentive to details c. h) Intelligible
9. A condition present from birth d. i) Ineligible
10. Pleasant and suited to one’s nature f. j) Incomprehensible

Grammar : Relative Clauses

Look at the following sentences from Rowling’s speech:

  • I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way.
  • It will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence.

The underlined parts add descriptive information about the norms (people, families) that precede them. Known as ‘relative clauses’, these dependent clauses specify which people (or what kind of people) the speaker is referring to.

Now look at some more examples:

  • The film is about a girl who overcomes many obstacles in her life.
  • The woman, whom I met at a seminar, is an award-winning author.
  • Where is the book that I gave you in the morning?
  • Do you remember the man whose daughter broke several records?
  • She wore a dress that was too big for her.

The underlined parts are ‘relative clauses’ which give additional information about the thing or person being talked about. We can place a relative clause either in the middle or at the end of a sentence. Note the use of words such as who, whom, whose, which or that to introduce relative clauses. These words used in this context are relative pronouns. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns perform two functions:

  • Like other pronouns, they refer to a noun (a person or a thing) that has already been mentioned.
  • Also, they join two clauses together.
  • The film is about a girl. The girl overcomes many obstacles in her life.
  • The film is about a girl who overcomes many obstacles in her life.

Use of Relative Pronouns Who, whom

Who and who(m) always refer to people. Who is used as the subject of the verb, whereas whom is used as the object of the verb in the relative clause. However, in modern English, it is common to use who in both subject and object positions. Whom is used only in formal and written English.

  • The woman who is talking to the tall man is the CEO.
  • The woman who(m) the tall man is talking to is the CEO.
  • Marie Curie, who discovered radium, was a Polish French woman.
  • The boy who(m) I saw on the roof fell down and broke his leg.


We use whose in relative clauses to describe ownership lpossession or to show that something belongs to or relates to someone or something. It usually refers to a person, thing or a group. Whose replaces his, her, its or their.

  • I have never seen a plant whose flowers change colour.
  • We have invited only those scholars whose work is relevant to the project.
  • This is the NGO whose performance was praised by the prime minister.
  • Polluted Ganga water is a major threat to people whose livelihoods depend on water.


We use which for things, subject or object of the clause.

  • My grandfather has a camera which was manufactured in 1906.
  • Have you seen the book which I bought for my friend?
  • The college students did an experiment which showed the adulteration in milk.
  • The painting which I wanted to buy was not for sale.


We use that for persons and things, subject and object of the clause, and after a superlative. That can be used informally instead of who and which. That is much more common in American English.

  • I saw something that was round with many coloured feathers on it,
  • Where is the pen that I gave you in the morning?
  • Almost all the people that I knew in the office have retired.
  • This is the best book that I have read on the subject.

If the relative pronoun (whom), which, and that) is the object of the verb, it can be omitted without causing any change in the meaning of the sentence.

  • The supermarket (which) she likes to visit has closed down.
  • The officer (whom) I spoke to knows you very well.
  • The girl (that) I told you about got admission in the best medical college. However, when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence, it cannot be omitted from the sentence. Look at the following sentences. The relative pronouns are necessary and cannot be Left out without affecting the meaning.
  • The boys who work in our office are extremely hardworking and sincere.
  • She told me a story which was very interesting.
  • The thing that really shocked me was her indifference.

Relative Adverbs When, where, why

We use the relative adverbs when, where, why to link a relative clause with a connection of time, place and reason.

We use when after ‘time’ or time words such as ‘day’ or ‘year’.

  • Do you remember the day when you first entered college?
  • My favourite season is spring, when trees begin to grow new leaves.
  • 2016 was the year when demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes was announced.
  • She cannot forget the year when she won several medals.

We use where after ‘place’ or place words ‘room’, ‘street’, ‘town’, ‘country’, etc.

  • I want to see the hospital where I was born.
  • They showed me the place where they had translocated the huge banyan tree.
  • I visited the house where Rabindranath Tagore had spent his childhood.
  • I never liked the neighborhood where I grew up.

We use why after ‘reason’.

  • Tell me (the reason) why you came late to the interview.
  • There are various reasons why we must complete the project on time.
  • The reason (why) I rang you is to invite you to a get-together at my place.
  • My friend tried to hide the reason why he was upset.

Types of Relative Clauses: Defining, Non-defining

Look at these two sentences containing relative clauses:

  • That’s the girl who won the first prize in the singing competition.
  • My nephew, who lives in New Delhi, is a civil engineer.
    What is the role of the relative clauses “who sang last” and “who lives in New Delhi” in the two sentences? In the first sentence, the relative clause adds essential information, while in the second, it adds extra information. Thus:
  • A defining relative clause provides essential information.
  • A non-defining relative clause supplies extra information.
  • A defining relative clause gives specific information that helps in identifying the person or thing that we are talking about.
  • A non-defining relative clause gives additional information about the person or thing that we are talking about. The information is not necessary to identity that person or thing.
  • A non-defining relative clause is usually separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma or commas.

We can know whether a relative clause is defining or non-defining by removing it from the sentence. If we remove a non-defining relative clause, the sentence still has the same meaning. If we remove a defining relative clause, the sentence has a different meaning or is incomplete.

If we remove the relative clause “who won the first prize in the singing competition”, the sentence is incomplete: “That’s the girl”. Therefore, the relative clause “who won the first prize in the singing competition” is essential information because it specifically defines which girl we are talking about. It is a defining relative clause.

On the other hand, if we remove the relative clause “who lives in New Delhi” the. sentence still has the same meaning: “My nephew is a civil engineer”. So, the relative clause “who lives in New Delhi” is extra information. It is a non-defining relative clause.

Exercise – I.

Read the following sentences which contain a relative clause. (They are all from the full speech of Rowling.) Underline the relative pronouns or adverbs and the nouns they replace. The first one has been done for you.

1. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace.
2. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life.
3. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know and will never meet.
4. One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18.
5. At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations.
6. I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them.
7. This man, whose life had been shattered by cruelty, took my hand with exquisite courtesy and wished me future happiness.
8. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble.
9. I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland.
10. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21.
1. those who
2. friends; whom
3. people, whose
4. Classics corridor; which
5. university, where
6. men and women who
7. man, whose
8. people to whom
9. torture victim, who
10. last hope, which

Exercise – II.

Add who, who(m), whose or which.

1. In the conference, I met a polyglot knew 13 languages.
2. He never finds shoes fit him well.
3. Why do you always ask questions are too complicated?
4. People are participating in the competition have to write a story.
5. You are exactly the person I wished to see.
6. Meet the proud mother daughter has won several medals.
7. What did you do with the money I gave you yesterday?
8. An atheist is a person does not believe in god.
9. I don’t remember the name of the man I spoke to yesterday.
10. Only children parents are illiterate study in this school.
1. who
2. which
3. which
4. who
5. whom
6. whose
7. that/which
8. who
9. whom
10. whose

Exercise – III.

Add who, whose, when, where or why.

1. Do you know a restaurant we get good samosas?
2. A dentist is a person gums. is qualified to treat diseases that affect the teeth and
3. 1950 was the year India became a republic.
4. I still don’t know the reason I was punished.
5. Have you seen the artist’s paintings are extremely thought-provoking?
1. where
2. who
3. when
4. why
5. whose

Exercise IV.

Combine the two sentences using who, whose, which/that, where or when.

1. You borrowed a novel from the library. Have you read it?
2. I met a dancer. He knows you.
3. We stayed at a hotel. We met an animal rights activist at the hotel.
4. She works in a company. The company’s work ethic is very good.
5. I still remember the day. Our first pet came home that day.
1 which
2. whom
3. where
4. whose
5. when

Exercise V.

Correct the following sentences.

1. The hill station which we spent our vacation was very beautiful.
2. Do you know the name of the river who flows through the city?
3. The people which work in the stadium are very friendly.
4. That was the year where severe losses were incurred.
5. A soda maker is a machine who makes soda.
6. Is that the man whose is the author of the bestseller?
7. She recommended a book, the title of whom I have forgotten.
8. They are three brothers, all of which are graduates.
9. That’s the film where I saw when I was in college.
10. Is she the one, who mother is a famous dancer?
1. where
2. which
3. who
4. when
5. which
6. who
7. which
8. whom
9. which
10. whose

OU Degree 6th Sem English Study Material

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