One of the key elements of writing well is to understand the use of relative clauses. For non-native speakers, and especially for my fellow Turkish colleagues, abuse of relative clauses is common and easy to overcome the mistake.

Please do not take me wrong, I am not suggesting that relative clauses are totally useless and therefore one must never use them. I am only trying to show you how to reduce them.

Here is an example from Izmir Train – the IZBAN.

English: “Halkapınar station is the transfer station for those passengers that will take Izmir Metro.”

Turkish: “Halkapınar istasyonu İzmir Metro’yla devam edecek yolcular için aktarma istasyonudur.”

Edited option 1: “Halkapınar is the transfer station for Izmir Metro.”

Edited option 2: “Halkapınar is the transfer station for Izmir Metro passengers.”

Copy editors and translators frequently ask me this question: Can I play with words, can I change the word order or omit some of the not very necessary bits? Well, my answer is always the same.

  1. Keep essential vocabulary – they are your backbone, they transmit the message.
  2. Reduce relative clauses
  3. Remove auxiliary verbs by using the actual verb (i.e. providing support vs support)
  4. Reduce long connecting phrases (i.e. within the framework of the fact that vs. as per)
  5. Reduce redundancies and repetitions. As you can see, I did remove one of the “station(s)” above.

Reducing relative clauses is a harmless technique. It gives a natural flow to your sentences. Please keep following our knowledge base for more samples and techniques.