relative pronouns

 

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

Comments

hi!
responsibility to take care of her is on you.
responsibility is on you to take care of her.

Which one is in correct form and why?

Hello neha_sri,

Either word order is correct, though please note that responsibility should be preceded by the definite article the: e.g. The responsibility to take care of her is on you.

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello noura salah,

This is explained under section 6. Using "which" to give more information on our relative clauses page. If it's still unclear after you read through that page, please feel free to ask us about it again.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
"what i am left with,that counts."

Can i write the above mentioned sentence like this:
What counts is what i am left with.

Hi nehha_sri,

Yes, that is perfectly correct.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
I want to know if this sentence" is correct. If it is correct, why does "that" come after ","?

Hi greyish,

I don't know which sentence you mean. Can you include the sentence in your question, please?

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi..
I'm not understand about an example for relative pronouns use for.
"We had fish and chips, which is my favourite meal" I think it must be changed to "......,which are my favourite meal" am I right?

thank you

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