ESL grammar · Grammar · Relative pronoun · sentence types

Relative clauses: Who, Which, and Whose

What are relative clauses?

Relative clauses are the parts of the sentence that give additional information, often about a noun. They’re not independent sentences, so you can’t put them on their own. They often start with a wh-word, which in technical terms is called the relative pronoun.

Relative clauses are an economic way of putting more information in your sentence than you would in a normal sentence.

This article talks only about sentences with commas in them (,). The sentences without commas are trickier, so we’ll continue with those some other time.

When do you use who, which, and whose?

It’s easy to know which of these three relative pronouns you must use, because you use the same words when you ask questions.

If you want to ask about a person, you ask with “who,” as in: Who is that man?

If you want to ask about a thing, an animal or an idea, you ask with “which,” as in:
Which do you like more, the red hat or the purple hat?

If you want to ask to whom something or someone belongs, you ask with “whose,” as in: Whose key is that, Janice’s or Robert’s?

hats

Making sentences with Relative Pronouns

Now I’ll show you how to make one sentence out of two sentences, using a relative clause that starts with who, which, or whose:

1 With who:

She’s just seen her friend. Her friend has red hair.

She’s just seen her friend, who has red hair.

“who has red hair” is the relative clause.

2 With which:

The head office is in Toronto. The head office is very big.

The head office, which is very big, is in Toronto.

“which is very big” is the relative clause.

Another example with which:

My grandparents will visit me this afternoon. This is fun.

My grandparents will visit me this afternoon, which is fun.

“which is fun” is the relative clause.

3 With whose:

That’s the guy. His brother is in my yoga class.

That’s the guy, whose brother is in my yoga class.

“whose brother is in my yoga class” is the relative clause.

Quick Recap

who is used to refer to people.

which is used for things, animals, ideas, or feelings.

whose is used to talk about things that belong to someone/something (possessive).

Exercise:

Fill in the gaps with: who, which, whose

1 The woman, _________ was wearing a purple jacket, said something to her daughter.

2 The traffic light, __________ was red, didn’t stop the robbers.

3 I love my friend Jo, __________ is one of the funniest people I know.

4 The robbers, ___________ escape car was found beside the highway, are still on the run.

5 I found the picture, _________ appears on page 49 of the book.

6 My colleague, __________ extension number is 325, will give you a call.

7 She did half an hour of jogging, ____________ made her feel great.

8 The movie is three hours, ___________ is a bit long.

9 The interviewer, __________ spoke to him this morning, thinks he is suitable for the job.

10 Gericault, _________ best works are hanging in the Louvre, was one hell of a painter.

 

Answers: scroll down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:

1 The woman, __who_______ was wearing a purple jacket, said something to her daughter.

2 The traffic light, ___which_______ was red, didn’t stop the robbers.

3 I love my friend Jo, _who_________ is one of the funniest people I know.

4 The robbers, ___whose________ escape car was found beside the highway, are still on the run.

5 I found the picture, _which________ appears on page 49 of the book.

6 My colleague, ____whose______ extension number is 325, will give you a call.

7 She did half an hour of jogging, ___which_________ made her feel great.

8 The movie is three hours, __which_________ is a bit long.

9 The interviewer, __who________ spoke to him this morning, thinks he is suitable for the job.

10 Gericault, ___whose______ best works hang in the Louvre, was one hell of a painter.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s