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Relative Pronouns: Definition, Rules & Useful Examples

 

So what exactly are relative pronouns? Let's take a look at relative pronoun definition, useful grammar rules with examples sentences and an ESL printable infographic below.

Grammar Corner Relative Pronouns: Definition, Rules & Useful Examples

 

What is a Relative Pronoun?

A relative pronoun is used to join or relate two different clauses together by referring to the noun in the previous clause using the following pronouns: who, whom, whose, which and that.

 

Relative Pronouns Rules

"Which" and "that" are generally used for objects; while "who" and "whom" are used for people, and "whose" is used to show possession.

Let's take a look at some examples:

  • She will choose the color which looks good on everyone.

In this example, "which" joins the two related clauses about choosing a color and a color which would look good on everyone.

 

  • There is a car in the parking lot that someone has painted a bright pink.

In this case, "that" joins the two sentences related to the object and its location in the first and its appearance in the second.

 

  • He needs to know by tomorrow who will be accompanying him on the business trip.

"Who" here stands for the unknown person and it also joins the two different clauses together.

 

  • Is there anyone here whose cell phone has a signal?

"Whose" in the example above is used to ask if anyone has possession of something that the speaker needs.

 

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