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.
- Keep essential vocabulary – they are your backbone, they transmit the message.
- Reduce relative clauses
- Remove auxiliary verbs by using the actual verb (i.e. providing support vs support)
- Reduce long connecting phrases (i.e. within the framework of the fact that vs. as per)
- 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.