In the third sentence, would it be correct to say: "Mi mejor amiga se apunta rápidamente a estos programas."? Does it take something away from the meaning by saying it the way I wrote it?
In the fourth sentence, would the sentence be correct if I eliminate "son las que"?
I'm not trying to take anything away from the "style" of the writing or from the grammatical importance of the use of these relative pronouns, but I just want to know if the use of these relative pronouns is more about a certain style of writing or if they are grammatically necessary.
Reading C1, Employment, Listening or Seeing C1
you can express pretty much the same thing saying "Mi mejor amiga se apunta rápidamente a estos programas.", but, yes, what we are using in our text is a different structure. Using the relative "la que..." at the beginning of the sentence emphasises the subject of the sentence bringing more attention to it: "La que se apunta rápidamente a estos programas es mi mejor amiga."
The same goes for the following sentence, adding more elements to it "... son las que..."; we could easily drop that part and shorten it, but it will lose on emphasis. I think the same happens in English.
I would say, yes, it is a question of "style" and it depends on what you want to convey/emphasise in the text.
I hope this helps,
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