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

who - subject or object pronoun for people

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

which - subject or object pronoun

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

which - referring to a whole sentence

They were unsuccessful which is disappointing.

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.

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.

Related pages