Relative Pronouns

Please don’t worry too much about the title “Relative Pronouns.” This is just a name for a group of words that have a certain function or job in English. Relative pronouns are used to relate one thing to another to give more information about the person or thing being spoken about.

The most important thing is to know how to use these words, and if we look at some example sentences this will help to understand new grammar.

who – persons
– The man who helped me at the train station was very kind.
Here we are relating “the man” (person) to “helping me.”
which – things-
 We’re working on a project which should be very profitable.
Here we are relating “the project” (thing) to “earning a profit.”
where – places
– They visited the village where they grew up.
Here we are relating “the village” (place) to “growing up.”
when – times
– He used to play tennis when he was a child.
Here we are relating “childhood” (time) to “playing tennis.”
that – both persons and things
– Our teacher explained the reasons that led him to choosing the profession.
Here we are relating “reasons” (thing) to “making a choice.”
whose – possessive
– John is the manger whose actions saved the company.
Here we are relating “John’s actions” (possessive) to “saving the company.”

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