Relative Pronouns

14 Dec

Relative Pronouns (A lesson for my ESL Students)

There are three (3) “Relative Pronouns” in English–THAT, WHICH, WHO.  Their job is to come after a noun and introduce more information about that object.  Basically, they answer the question “What _____?  I need more information please!”

Especially helpful if you need more information in order to correctly identify that specific object from a group of similar items.  

  1. THAT – is used for things and people.  “Tom is the man that is going to teach you.” (Tom is the man. What man? – more information please.  The man going to teach you.)
  2.  WHICH – is used only for things. “Here is the car which I used to pick you up.” (This is the car. What car? – more information please. The car I used to pick you up.)
  3. WHO – is used only for people. “Mary is the woman who helped me study for the test.” (Mary is the woman. What woman? – more information please.She helped me study for the test.)

EXAMPLE:

We are at the airport, and I say “Go get the car.” But you don’t know my car, you have never seen my car. How do you pick my car from a group of cars?

Well, I could have given you more information about the car using “Relative Pronouns.” 

Since “Car” is a thing, I could use either “that” or “which.”  

  1. “Go get the car that is on the right side of the parking lot.”
  2. “Go get the car which is green and parked close to the building.”

Both of these would give you more information so you can pick the correct car.

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

%d bloggers like this: