Relative Pronoun


Relative pronoun can be defined as “A relative pronoun is used to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. You see them used everyday with the most common relative pronouns being: who, whom, which, whoever, whomever, whichever, and that.”


Relative pronoun is used in the sentence to introduce a relative clause thus called as relative pronoun. Relative pronoun is a pronoun that connects a clause or phrase to the noun or pronoun.

Most common relative pronouns are who, which, whom, whomever, whose, whoever, whichever, and that. The words ‘who’ (subject) and ‘whom’ (object) are used for people, ‘which’ for things, ‘whose’ for possession, ‘that’ for things and people to define relative clauses.

It can refer to singular or plural without any difference between male and female.

Generally, a relative pronoun is used in the beginning of an adjective clause (which modifies a noun or pronoun). Adjective clause can be started with relative adverbs (when, where, why) or relative pronouns (that, who, whose, whom, which). We can say that a relative pronoun plays role of a noun in the clause of sentence.

List of Relative Pronouns

Examples of relative pronouns are like that, whichever, which, when, who, whoever, whichsoever, whom, whomever, whosoever, whose, whomsoever, whosesoever, whatsoever, whatever, etc.

For Example:

  • The person who stayed with me last night was my best friend. (in this example, the word “who” relates to “the person” and introduces the relative clause “who stayed with me last night”.
  • The driver who ran on the road without taking care of traffic signals was careless.
  • The pasta which we enjoyed was really delicious and tasty.
  • This is the matter that they were talking about.
  • She met the person whom she wrote a letter last month.
  • I have not taken any bill which is my big mistake.
  • I have a best friend whose dog is very dangerous.
  • The people, who left their bag, were not very clever.
  • Grandma belongs to the time when radio shows were very popular.
  • I never meet a friend whose nature is bad.

How to Use Them

Various types of relative pronouns are used with different purposes at different places in the sentence.

The use of relative pronouns is divided accordingly for the persons, things, etc. Such as who and whom is used for people, which for things, that and whose for both, people or things. However, it is generally avoided the use of ‘that’ for people especially in the formal writing. Following are some special usage of relative pronouns:

  • Adjective clause can be started with the preposition in the case when whom or which become the object of a preposition. In the formal writing, the use of preposition at the end of sentence should be avoided.
  • In order to make clear the thing or person we are talking about in the sentence, we use relative pronouns after a noun.

Why Are Relative Pronouns Important?

Relative pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses (group of words having both a subject and a verb used to modify a noun) in the sentence.

There is no existence of relative clause in the sentence without the use of a relative pronoun. The use of a relative pronoun in the sentence provide clue that the relative clause is beginning.


Following are the examples of relative pronouns:

  • The woman who took my interview is waiting inside. (in this sentence, ‘woman’ is a noun ‘who’ is a relative pronoun)
  • I am sure about the person who ate the cake.
  • I am not very sure about the tune that is getting played.
  • Mrs. Adwani, who speech on the stage, was very beautiful.
  • I rode my bike very badly, which now has puncture tyre.
  • This is the cookies that Mary made.
  • The teacher only select the students whom she believed the most talented for the role.
  • The person, who will win the game, will be awarded by prize.
  • Whoever has drank the milk will bring milk for other use. (in this sentence, ‘whoever’ is used as the subject of verb ‘drank’)
  • All the fruits which were in the fruit bowl needs to be kept in the freeze.
  • I will give you first whichever packet I will get.
  • The book that I bought is recently published.
  • The person who taught me last night was my class teacher.
  • My uncle, whose child has brought first I class, is a doctor.

Exercises for you

We have provided below some exercises in order to help you to improve your knowledge about relative pronoun. You need to get detail information about relative pronoun provided above and check your skill by doing following exercises.

Choose the correct relative pronouns from the following sentences given below and match with the given answer:

  1. The person who told me about exams is my teacher.
  2. The person who called me last night was my mom.
  3. The car which I bought has yellow color.
  4. The car that I sold was my favorite.
  5. The person whom I gift a precious thing is my best friend.
  6. The people who I left last night was my cousin.
  7. The person that I called yesterday was my father.
  8. The car which I sold was very old.
  9. The car that I purchased is second hand.
  10. The student whose pen is lost should hands up.
  11. Children whose parents are wealthy, spent more money.
  12. The police are searching for the van whose driver was kidnapped.
  13. Mrs. Banshi, who is very cruel, is my class teacher.
  14. The car, which was used in taxi for long time, is exploded.
  15. The car, which was sold by Mr. Pratap, suddenly caught fire.
  16. My brother, whose phone is lost, is an engineering student.
  17. My father, who was born in a village, knows to speak English very well.
  18. Mr. Thompson, who is 60, has just retired from his job.
  19. This is a person, whose dog was stolen right from the home.
  20. This is a person, whom I met last year for my increment.

Answers: 1 – who, 2 – who, 3 – which, 4 – that, 5 – whom, 6 – who, 7 – that, 8 – which, 9 – that, 10 – whose, 11 – whose, 12 – whose, 13 – who, 14 – which, 15 – which, 16 – whose, 17 – who, 18 – who, 19 – whose, 20 – whom

Related Information:

Personal Pronoun
Possessive Pronoun
Compound Personal Pronoun
Demonstrative Pronoun
Indefinite Pronoun
Distributive Pronoun
Reciprocal Pronoun
Interrogative Pronoun

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