English grammar

Module 2, Pronouns, Lesson 7:

Relative Pronouns

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English grammar

A relative is someone who has a relationship with you. Relative pronouns show a relationship between clauses. They join dependent clauses to main clauses.

who whom which whose that

Look familiar? They are also interrogative and demonstrative pronouns. In order to tell the difference, you must analyze how they are being used.

Interrogative: Who is that man in the photograph? (Who = Juan – but we don't know his name. That's why it's interrogative.)

Relative: Juan is the man who works in the mall. (Juan = man working in the mall)

The relative pronouns show a relationship between two clauses. They act like conjunctions. In the above sentences, who replaces the noun in the first sentence and relates Juan and the man working in the mall.

Interrogative: Whom did you ask about the movie times? (Whom = Dave)

Relative: Where is the person whom you asked about tickets? (Whom = person you asked)

Demonstrative: That is the book I found. (That = the book Little Women)

Relative: I found the book that you lost. (book I found = book you lost)

Who, whom, and whose relate to people (or pets if you refer to them by name). Which is used with objects. That is preferably used only with objects, but you will see it used with people. Try to get in the habit of using who with people instead of that. It is more polite.

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar

Part 1

Directions:
Choose the correct relative pronoun to complete each sentence.
1.
My uncle Jeff is the man found that arrow head.
who, that
2.
Have you found a store sells the right kind of binders?
that, who
3.
Lisa is a person you can trust.
whom, that
4.
A cheetah, is the fastest cat, is smaller than a lion.
who, which
5.
For the party, we need several games require few materials.
who, that
6.
We watched the videos Maria had taken in Alaska.
that, whose
7.
Those students essays got As don't need to rewrite them.
whose, who
8.
My favorite author is the one won many awards.
who, that
9.
We went to the beach I used to visit when I was little.
that, who
10.
We fixed the fireplace has not worked in years.
which, who

Part 2

Directions:
Identify each pronoun in bold as relative, interrogative, or demonstrative.
11.
Which book should I bring to English?
relative / interrogative
12.
I want to meet the person who invented these potato chips.
relative / interrogative
13.
The question that I have is whether or not we are finished.
relative / interrogative
14.
Should I bring that to class tomorrow?
relative / demonstrative
15.
If I find it, to whom should I give it?
relative / interrogative
16.
The enemy that the British fought were the Germans.
relative / demonstrative
17.
The man who invented the computer mouse died in 2013.
relative / interrogative
18.
Robert Frost is a poet whom I greatly admire.
relative / interrogative
19.
Where is the pencil that I dropped?
relative / demonstrative
20.
Which of these books should I read first?
relative / interrogative
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