Attributive clauses serve as an attribute to some noun or pronoun in the principal clause which is called an antecedent. Attributive clauses are introduced by the connectives who, whose, whom, what, which, that, as, when, where. The choice of the conjunctive depends on the categorical meaning of the antecedent: 1. A quick light step approached the room in which I was. (Dickens) 2. He was under the impression that an attempt was going to be made to convict him. (Dreiser) 3. Then she came to New York where she remained two years. (Dreiser) Depending on the degree of connection and the relation they bear to the antecedent attributive clauses can be subdivided into limiting (restrictive) and descriptive (non-restrictive).
Limiting attributive clauses limit and define more clearly the antecedent. They can’t be removed without destroying the meaning of the antecedent. A limiting attributive clause is not separated by a comma from the principal clause because of its close connection with it. Such clauses are introduced by the connectives that, who, which, whose, where, when or asyndetically: 1. She had no idea where she was going. (Murdoch) 2. There were times when I wanted to stop the car ant tell him to get out. (Maltz) 3. The things her father said seemed meaningless and neutral. (Lawrence)
In a complex sentence with a limiting attributive clause the connective (the relative pronoun) may be omitted. Such clauses are called contact clauses. In such cases the two parts of the sentence are more closely joined together than when the relative pronouns are used. There is never a pause before limiting contact clauses, the intonation of the whole complex also shows unity and is different from that of two independent sentences: 1. She seemed to play the things he liked best… (Galsworthy) 2. Is there anything I can do for you? 3. The man I am writing about is not famous. (Maugham). Generally we have contact clauses when the connective (relative pronoun) could be the object of its clause.
Descriptive attributive clausesgive some additional information about the antecedent. they may be omitted without affecting the precise understanding of the sentence as a whole. As the connection between the principal clause and the attributive clause is loose, attributive descriptive clauses are often separated by a comma. They are introduced by the connectives who, which, where, when, that. They can’t be joined asyndetically: 1. All things shone softly in the sun, which was wonderfully warm. 2. Emily, who thought she knew him well, was alarmed. (Galsworthy) 3. He reached up and pulled a red rose from a cluster, which blocked the window. (Galsworthy) 4. Miss Naylor, who had gone into the house, came back. (Galsworthy)
A subdivision of descriptive clauses is continuative clauses whose antecedent is not one word but a whole clause. A continuative clause is introduced be the relative pronoun which rendered in Ukrainian be the pronoun “що”. Continuative clauses are always separated from the principal clause by a comma: 1. He visited his parents who lived in a village, on Fridays, which was very convenient, as he was not busy on this day. 2. His daughter, a student of a theatrical school, made a great impression on everybody who dealt with her, which was pleasant for him and made him feel happy. 3. Mr. Brown got in touch with the company very quickly, which was very important for him, since he wanted to sign an agreement on cooperation and to go on a business trip to London. Descriptive clauses are generally placed immediately after the antecedent, while continuative clauses may stand at some distance.