Relative Pronouns

'Who', 'whom', 'whose', 'which' and 'that' are Relative Pronouns.

In a sentence, a relative pronoun is used to refer to the noun mentioned before it. It is usually used to add more information about the noun.

e.g. The man who won the game is my uncle.

In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is used to refer to the noun (man) before it. After 'who', more information about the man is added, i.e., the man won the game.

A relative pronoun is also used to join two sentences together.

e.g.

The girl lost her bicycle.

She is my sister.

We can join the two sentences above together with the relative pronoun 'who'.

The girl who lost her bicycle is my sister.

'Who', 'whose' and 'whom' are used to refer to people, while 'which' and 'that' are used to refer to animals and things.


Relative Pronoun 'Who'

In a sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is used as the subject. It is usually placed before a verb.

Examples:

This the lady who drives a red car to work.

(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'who' is placed before the verb 'drives'.)


The doctor who treated me is a kind man.

I know the old man who lives in this house.

The waitress who served me is your aunt.

The man who broke into a house was sent to prison.




Relative Pronoun 'Whose'

In a sentence, the relative pronoun 'whose' is used as a possessive. It is usually placed before a noun.

Examples:

The boy whose bicycle was stolen is the top student in his class.

(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'whose' is placed before the noun 'bicycle'.)


The girl whose parents died is here to see you.

The man whose cat scratched me is out of town.

The woman whose house is large has three children.

The youth whose scooter is stolen is a friend of mine.


Relative Pronoun 'Whom'

In a sentence, the relative pronoun 'whom' is always used as an object. It is usually placed before a pronoun, a proper noun (a person's name) or a noun referring to people or a person.

Examples:

The old man, whom Tiffany met yesterday, is your grandfather.

(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'whom' is placed before the proper noun 'Tiffany'.)


Steve, whom you met at the party, has just dropped by.

He is the man whom I talked to yesterday.

The customer whom Jonathan served just now is my neighbor.

The teenager whom Linda shook hands with is an actor.


Relative Pronouns 'Which' & 'That'

The relative pronouns 'which' and 'that' can be used as either the subject or the object of a sentence.

'Which' & 'that' as the subject

Examples:

This is the dog which bit the burglar.

(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'which' is used as a subject, as it refers to the doer of an action, the dog.)


The cat that caught a mouse is sleeping now.

That is the herd of elephants which destroyed the farmer's crops.

The tiger that attacked a human has been shot.


'Which' & 'that' as the object

Examples:

The vase that he broke was expensive.

(In the above sentence, the relative pronoun 'that' is used as an object, as it refers to the thing that is affected by the action of the verb, i.e., the vase.)


The table which she cleaned a moment ago is dirty again.

The bubbles that he blew burst in a while.

These are the books which I borrowed from the library.


Exercises

A. Join the following pairs of sentences together using the relative pronoun 'who'.

1. She has an uncle. He works in the hospital.

2. Walter must call her sister. She lives in Seoul.

3. That is the actress. She has just won an award.

4. The girl is good in English. She lives next door to me.

5. My sister will come and see me. She is studying in a university.

6. The teenager was awarded. He saved a drowning girl.

7. The man is my father's friend. He patted you on the back.

8. My neighbor sings well. She wants to be a professional singer.

9. This is the youth. He is studying law.

10. Is this the girl? She was discharged from the hospital.


B. Join the following pairs of sentences together using the relative pronoun 'whose'.

1. This is the girl. Her mother is a nurse.

2. This is the boy. His father was injured in a car accident.

3. That is the man. His daughter is the model student of the year.

4. That is the woman. Her handbag was snatched.

5. We talked to the lady. Her child is missing.

6. Do you know the man? His bungalow is on top of a hill.

7. Mark is absent today. His mother passed away.

8. Candy is angry. Her gold necklace was stolen.

9. Mr. Newton is taking a bus to work. His car broke down.

10. Sam has lodged a police report. His house was robbed.


C. Join the following pairs of sentences together using the relative pronoun 'whom'. Leave out the words in bold.

1. This is my aunt. I told you about her.

2. The woman is my mother. I saw her just now.

3. These are the men. My father employs them.

4. Are you the patient? The doctor treated you.

5. She is the girl. I helped her this morning.

6. That is the lady. I introduced Victor to her.

7. The man is a teacher. I visited him last week.

8. The doctor is out of town. I am looking for him.

9. The man is standing over there. You want to see him.

10. The boy has left. I borrowed this pen from him.


D. Join the following pairs of sentences together using the relative pronoun 'which' or 'that'. Leave out the words in bold.

1. This is the tiger. It attacked the zookeeper.

2. I read a science fiction. It was very exciting.

3. Where is the newspaper? I bought it this morning.

4. This is the car. My father is interested to buy it.

5. My mother is cooking the fish. I caught them from the river.

6. The vegetables have rotted. They are not in the refrigerator.

7. You can take this short cut. It leads to the library.

8. Rebecca needs to water the plants. They have not been watered for a couple of days.

9. They cannot swim across the river. It is too wide.

10. Houseflies are dirty insects. They spread diseases.


E. Fill in the blanks with 'who', 'whom', 'whose' or 'which'.

1. She is the lady ____________ I gave the present to.

2. The person ____________ lent me a helping hand yesterday is your brother.

3. The stewardess ____________ served me is very polite.

4. This is the boy ____________ father works as an oculist.

5. The panda is a mammal ____________ lives in China.

6. They are the only people ____________ we can ask for help.

7. The girl ____________ Heidi saw at the party is my cousin.

8. I saw a beggar ____________ leg was swollen last week.

9. The child ____________ parents died in a plane crash now lives in an orphanage.

10. Mrs. Larry's pet dog, ____________ was reported missing last month, has been found.


F. Choose the right answers.

1. The movie ( that, who ) I saw last week is scary.

2. Mr. Anderson is the teacher ( who, whom ) taught us mathematics last year.

3. That is the student ( whose, whom ) handwriting is neat.

4. Is this the mechanic ( whose, who ) repaired your car?

5. The cell phone ( which, whom) I gave Barbra is imported from Europe.

6. The reporters interviewed the man ( whose, who ) donated generously to the fire victims.

7. The rose plant ( whom, that ) you gave me last month has bloomed.

8. The boy ( who, whom ) I visited last week has died of leukemia.

9. Are you going to help the man ( who, whose ) house was burnt to ashes?

10. The lady ( whose, whom ) you hugged is the headmistress of this school.


Answers

A.

1. She has an uncle who works in the hospital.

2. Walter must call her sister who lives in Seoul.

3. That is the actress who has just won an award.

4. The girl who lives next door to me is good in English.

5. My sister who is studying in a university will come and see me.

6. The teenager who saved a drowning girl was awarded.

7. The man who patted you on the back is my father's friend.

8. My neighbor who wants to be a professional singer sings well.

9. This the youth who is studying law.

10. Is this the girl who was discharged from the hospital?


B.

1. This is the girl whose mother is a nurse.

2. This is the boy whose father was injured in a car accident.

3. That is the man whose daughter is the model student of the year.

4. That is the woman whose handbag was snatched.

5. We talked to the lady whose child is missing.

6. Do you know the man whose bungalow is on top of a hill?

7. Mark, whose mother passed away, is absent today.

8. Candy, whose gold necklace was stolen, is angry.

9. Mr. Newton, whose car broke down, is taking a bus to work.

10. Sam, whose house was robbed, has lodged a police report.


C.

1. This is my aunt whom I told you about.

2. The woman whom I saw just now is my mother.

3. These are the men whom my father employs.

4. Are you the patient whom the doctor treated?

5. She is the girl whom I helped this morning.

6. That is the lady whom I introduced Victor to.

7. The man whom I visited last week is a teacher.

8. The doctor whom I am looking for is out of town.

9. That man whom you want to see is standing over there.

10. The boy whom I borrowed this pen from has left.


D.

1. This is the tiger which attacked the zookeeper. /

This is the tiger that attacked the zookeeper.

2. I read a science fiction which was very exciting. /

I read a science fiction that was very exciting.

3. Where is the newspaper which I bought this morning? /

Where is the newspaper that I bought this morning?

4. This is the car which my father is interested to buy. /

This is the car that my father is interested to buy.

5. My mother is cooking the fish which I caught from the river. /

My mother is cooking the fish that I caught from the river.

6. The vegetables which are not in the refrigerator have rotted. /

The vegetables that are not in the refrigerator have rotted.

7. You can take this short cut which leads to the library. /

You can take this short cut that leads to the library.

8. Rebecca needs to water the plants which have not been watered for a couple of days. /

Rebecca needs to water the plants that have not been watered for a couple of days.

9. They cannot swim across the river which is too wide. /

They cannot swim across the river that is too wide.

10. Houseflies are dirty insects which spread diseases. /

Houseflies are dirty insects that spread diseases.

E.

1. whom

2. who

3. who

4. whose

5. which

6. whom

7. whom

8. whose

9. whose

10. which


F.

1. that

2. who

3. whose

4. who

5. which

6. who

7. that

8. whom

9. whose

10. whom