What is Relative Pronoun?

D. Indira Priya

The Adjective Clauses are introduced as Relative Pronouns.

The Relative pronounsare Who, Whom, Which, That. Usually a relative clause modifies the noun or pronoun that goes before it, which is called the antecedent (before).

Who and Whom are used for persons.

1. This is the man who won the car race.
2. He is the man whom I met last week.
3. The man who is catchingthe fish is my uncle.

Which is used for things and animals.

1. This is the house which I built last year.
2. This is the dog which bit my brother.
3. The house which we have sold is a hundred years old.

That is used for both persons, animals and things.

1. This is the book that I bought yesterday.


1.This is the beggar whom I helped.
2. This the library which I used to visit during my college days.
3. He is a man whom we all respect.
4. There are many palaces which we haven’t visited.
5.The man who is standing at gate is my uncle.
6. The man who hit me yesterday was blind.

Note:The clauses printed in colour are called Defining Adjective Clauses since they specify or define the nouns they qualify.


Non-defining Adjective clauses are introduced by the Relative Pronouns who, which, whom and by the phrase whose + Noun. They also can be introduced by the Relative adverbs where and when. They are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. They do not define the noun, but merely give some information about the person or thing referred to.

1. Her brother, who is a professor in English, is visiting us this weekend.
2. My aunt Elizabeth, whom I haven’t seen for years, is visiting our home nextweek.
3. Nick, who was born in Melbourne, now lives in Los Angles.

How to combine the sentences with relative pronoun.....

1.Edison invented electric bulb. He had failed nearly 10,000 times. (Who)

While combining sentences with relative pronoun who, use after Edison which is antecedent (before) to Edison and remove the subject He in second sentence and write like a statement.

Edison who invented electric bulb, had failed nearly 10,000 times.

There is man standing at the gate. He is my English teacher.(Who)

Use the relative pronoun ‘who’ after man which is the antecedent (before) to noun man.

The man who is standing at the gate is my English teacher.


1. Nick has a small foot on his left hip. It helps him balance and enables him to kick.(which)
1. Nick has a small foot on his left hip which helps him balance and enables him to kick.

2. Nickwas teased and bullied. He had an electricwheelchair for mobility.(Who)
2. Nick, who was teased and bullied had an electric wheelchair for mobility.

3. Kanae gave birth to a baby. The baby was healthy.(Who)
3. Kanae gave birth to a baby who was healthy. OR
3. The baby who was healthy was given birth by Kanae.(Who)

4. I did a 360 degree spin in the car. It freaked her out. (Which)
4. I did a 360 degree spin in the car which freak her out.

5. Kanae attended a programme. Nick was organising it.(Which)
5. The programme which Kanae attended was organised by Nick.

6. This is the bureau. I always wanted it after his death.(That)
6. This is the bureau that I wanted after his death.

7.I was to leave behind my newly- wed wife. It was the fact. (That)
7. It was fact that I was to leave behind my newly-wed wife.

8.The road is uneven and full of pebbles. It hurts while walking.(Which)
8. The road which is uneven and full of pebbles, hurts while walking.

9. His uncle is a doctor. His uncle will be staying with us for a month. (Who)
9. His uncle, who is a doctor will be staying with us for amonth.

10. There is a man standing at the bus stop. He is my uncle. (Who)
10. The man who is standing at the bus stop is my uncle.

11. I bought a book yesterday. It is very interesting. (Which)
11. The book which I bought yesterday is very interesting.

12. A little blind girl was adopted by a rich couple. She is very lucky.(Who)
12. The little blind orphan girl who was adopted by a rich couple, is very lucky.

13.You saw a tall building. That is the Income Tax Office.(which)
13. The tall building which you saw is Income tax Office.

14. Some people always expectthe best to happen. They are optimists. (Who)
14. People who always expect the best to happen are optimists.

15.Only a few people attended the concert. They enjoyed thoughtfully.(Who)
15. The few people who attended the concert, enjoyed thoughtfully.

16. There was meeting held in Town Hall. It was grand success.(Which)
16. The meeting which was held in Town hall was grand success.

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