This newsletter tells you all about English! Start your FREE email English course now!
income; return; gains; government income earned through taxation
full quiz correct answer

ESL Lesson: Relative Pronoun

How to learn English grammar?
Present Simple Tense
Present Continuous
Future Tense
Articles in English
The Articles (1)
The Articles (2)
The Articles (3)
The Articles (4)
Progressive Forms
Passive Voice
Relative Pronoun
Relative Pronoun (2)
Relative Pronoun (3)
Spot the preposition
English Adverbs
Types of Adverbs
Usage of Adverbs
Indirect Speech
Make or Do?
Make or Do? (2)
Phrasal verb break
Phrasal verb bring
Phrasal verb bring (2)
Phrasal verb bring (3)
Phrasal verb hold
Phrasal verb hold (2)
Phrasal verb take
Phrasal verb take (2)
Phrasal verb take (3)
Phrasal verb look
Phrasal verb look (2)
Phrasal verb go
Phrasal verb go (2)
Phrasal verb run
Phrasal verb fall
Phrasal verb get
Word Story: Health
Word Story: Jokes
Word Story: Dictionary
Word Story: Search Engines
Word Story: Weather
One thing or another
Saying It Twice
Colour Idioms
Cool Expressions
Book Expressions
Expressions: In Order/Disorder
Conversations about English
English Language Exercises 2206 English Exercises
This English grammar test package will help you learn new phrases, idioms, expressions and grammar structures every single day. And you won't even have to cram any grammar rules or vocabulary words into your head. Instead, you will be absorbing bits and pieces of the English language almost without realizing it.

Get FREE English course via e-mail 

Listen to this lesson (English audio, MP3)

Please activate Javascript for view MP3 player

What do you think of this audio recording?

The story I am about to tell you contains lots of examples of the "Relative Pronoun". Before you read it, look through the following notes:

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)Improving your grammar is much easier than you think
Printable, photocopiable and clearly structured format
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC, or anywhere


  1. Relative pronouns do two jobs at once:
    a) acting as subject or object of a verb
    b) joining two clauses together
  2. The most common are: who, whom, which and thatwho and whom for people and which for things.
  3. Whom is not used much in conversation and refers to an object of a verb or a preposition.
  4. That can often replace whom, who and which.
  5. After nouns referring to times and places, when and where can be used to mean at which or in which and why can be used to mean for which.
  6. Whose is a possessive relative word, referring to people and things.


  1. Defining and non-defining relative clauses
    "George, who lives next door, always watches television."
    "The couple who live next door always watch television.»
  2. That
    a) For people and things and in conversation.
    b) After the following: all, everything, something, anything, nothing, none, little, few, much.
    c) After superlatives.
  3. In defining relative clauses the relative pronoun is often left out if it is the object of the verb.
  4. Prepositions can come before the relative pronoun or at the end of the clause but you cannot use that or who after a preposition.
  5. In a non-defining relative clause that cannot be used and object relative pronouns cannot be left out.
  6. Sentence Relative
    "He showed me a photo that upset me."
    "He tore up the photo, which upset me."
  7. Relative and infinitive
    "He was unhappy unless he had someone with whom to argue."
  8. Whose can refer to people or things and can be the subject of a clause, the object of a verb or the object of a preposition.
  9. Instead of whose, of which can be used.
  10. What
    "I gave her the money that she needed."
    "I gave her what she wanted."

Dear Friend, if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please click here.

If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.

Next:ESL Lesson: Relative Pronoun (2)

Author: Alan Townend

  copyright © 2003—2019  
Get FREE English course via e-mail