Relative Pronouns

What are relative pronouns?

A relative pronoun is a pronoun that introduces a relative clause within a complex sentence.

In the example:

Mike found the keys that he had lost.

that is a relative pronoun which introduces the relative clause that he had lost.

In English, the relative pronouns are who, whom, which, whose, and that.

Relative pronouns

1. who - subject or object pronoun for people.


  • They caught the lady who killed her baby.
  • I know the man who you met.

2. which - subject or object pronoun


  • I read the book which is on the table.
  • I visited the town which you told me about.

3. which - referring to a whole sentence


  • They were unsuccessful which is disappointing.

4. whom - used for object pronoun for people, especially in non-restrictive relative clauses (in restrictive relative clauses use who)


  • The boy whom you told me about got the best grades in mathematics.

5. that - subject or object pronoun for people, animals, and things in restrictive relative clauses (who or which are also possible)

  • I like the vase that is over there.

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