Module 8, Conjunctions and Interjections, Lesson 6:

Other Words that Act as Conjunctions


You have already learned about relative pronouns and relative adverbs in previous modules. Both act as subordinating conjunctions when they connect sentences.

Relative pronouns, which include some interrogative and one demonstrative pronoun, introduce adjective or noun clauses. They are that, which, who, whom, and whose.

These are the students who have done well on the test.
These are the students. The students have done well on the test.
(Who replaces students when combining the sentences.)

Relative adverbs introduce adjective clauses: when, where, why. (Yes, that seems backwards, an adverb in an adjective clause.) They replace in which, which sounds more formal.

That is the museum where I saw the unicorn tapestry.
That is the museum in which I saw the unicorn tapestry.

Adjective clauses modify nouns. Sometimes in a sentence the noun modified by the adjective clause is omitted but understood.

Tell your teacher why you forgot your homework.
Tell your teacher (the reason) why you forgot your homework.

Other pronouns can introduce noun clauses. They are whoever, whomever, what, whatever, and whichever.

Whatever you want for breakfast is fine with me.
You want whatever for breakfast. Whatever is fine with me.
When using whoever or whomever, the pronoun is part of the dependent clause. Whoever is a subject pronoun. Whomever is an object pronoun. It needs to work correctly in the dependent clause.
[Whoever ate the cookies] should have left them alone.
I expect [whomever I pick] to do a good job.

Practice What You've Learned

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Click on the word acting as a conjunction in the sentence.
Have you found the puzzle piece that goes in this spot?
My uncle is the one who invented that gadget.
That is the castle where the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned.
Did you find out what your father made for dinner?
I will give this to whomever you suggest.
Have you ever met anyone who has been to Japan?
Do you know whose assignment this is?
I knew the family for whom that house was originally built.
This is the spot where I dropped my backpack and lost my cell phone.
I usually like whatever you bring me to eat.