The relative pronouns are:

 

Subject Object Possessive
who who(m) whose
which which whose
that that  

 


We use who and whom for people, and which for things.
Or we can use that for people or things.

We use relative pronouns:

after a noun, to make it clear which person or thing we are talking about:

the house that Jack built
the woman who discovered radium
an eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop

to tell us more about a person or thing:

My mother, who was born overseas, has always been a great traveller.
Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired.
We had fish and chips, which is my favourite meal.

But we do not use that as a subject in this kind of relative clause.

We use whose as the possessive form of who:

This is George, whose brother went to school with me.

We sometimes use whom as the object of a verb or preposition:

This is George, whom you met at our house last year.
This is George’s brother, with whom I went to school.

But nowadays we normally use who:

This is George, who you met at our house last year.
This is George’s brother, who I went to school with.

When whom or which have a preposition the preposition can come at the beginning of the clause...

I had an uncle in Germany, from who[m] I inherited a bit of money.
We bought a chainsaw, with which we cut up all the wood.

or at the end of the clause:

I had an uncle in Germany who[m] I inherited a bit of money from.
We bought a chainsaw, which we cut all the wood up with.

We can use that at the beginning of the clause:

I had an uncle in Germany that I inherited a bit of money from.
We bought a chainsaw that we cut all the wood up with.

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

She wrote a best-selling book, the name of ............... I've completely forgotten. for tis test question the answer stated as 'which' (but not 'that'). But ı think it is talking about the book. Why not the answer is 'which or that' since the course explanation at the top is "We use who and whom for people, and which for things.
Or we can use that for people or things."

Hello bguldibi,

There are three reasons why 'that' is not possible here.

First of all, we use 'that' as an alternative to 'who' and 'which' in defining relative clauses, not non-defining relative clauses. This sentence is an example of a non-defining relative clause.

Second, we cannot replace 'whose' with 'that', and 'of which' is an alternative way to say 'whose':

She wrote a best-selling book, whose name I've completely forgotten.

Third, we do not use 'that' when the relative pronoun is part of a phrase with a preposition such as 'of which', 'to which', 'from whom', 'for whom' etc.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Please let me know whether this sentence is correct.
A boy helped me to carry bag. He is very poor.
The boy who helped me to carry my bag is very poor.
My question is : one must change the indefinite article ' A' to 'THE'
A boy should change to The boy.
Regards
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

The article changes as you say because the relative clause defines which boy is being discussed. However, the sentence would still not be correct as you need a possessive adjective before 'bag': ...to carry my bag...

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Mr. kirk, who is a teacher, is my brother.

what is WHO
relative pronoun or interrogative pronoun

the word WHO is used for a noun ' Kirk'

please help

Hello pyramid,

In that sentence (about me!), 'who' is a relative pronoun. If the sentence were a question, it would be asking for some kind of information. This sentence states a fact; it doesn't pose any question.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

when we use WHO for asking questions
we do not use noun/pronoun/subject with it

eg.
who goes? or who go?
ans is a noun/pronoun/subject

answer of WHO is a subject/pronoun/noun

and answer of the word WHO is a noun/pronoun/subject WHICH is not used while asking question using WHO word.

is it the reason? why we call it interrogative pronoun?

Hi pyramid,

We're happy to help with specific, discrete questions that are related to our site in some way, but I'm afraid we don't provide personal tuition. I'm not sure if I completely understand your question, but I hope my response helps you. You might also want to read the Wikipedia article on pronouns.

Pronouns always take the place of a noun or noun phrase – you won't normally see the antecedent of the pronoun (i.e. the noun that it refers to) along with the pronoun, because the whole point of using the pronoun is to avoid using the antecedent.

The interrogative pronoun 'who' is used to ask questions when we don't know the identity of the person we're asking about.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thanks you sir for replying,
your lines taught me all, and i understood it. thank you very much.

you won't normally see the antecedent of the pronoun (i.e. the noun that it refers to) along with the pronoun, because the whole point of using the pronoun is to avoid using the antecedent.

thank you sir, for this explanation.

have a nice day!!!

thanks again!!!!!!

when we use something for a noun (instead of noun), it is called a pronoun.
WHO has been used for a noun Kirk,

Kirk, WHO is my brother, is a teacher.

WHO is my brother = Kirk

has the word WHO not been used for a noun 'Kirk'?

who is Kirk? = interrogative pronoun OK, understand

kirk, WHO......
WHO=kirk

respected sir, I always commit mistakes between relative pronoun and interrogative pronoun
. i would be very happy if i get more explanation
PLEASE

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