How To Solve Relative Pronoun Quickly

How to Solve Relative Pronoun

Understanding How to Solve Relative Pronoun is not very difficult. Once you get the idea of the different types of Relative Pronoun and their usage, the questions becomes easy. But before that let’s take a look at the relative pronouns and bush up our knowledge.

How To Solve for Relative Pronoun

How to Solve Relative Pronoun Quickly

Before heading towards how to solve relative pronoun, we need to understand how we can use these relative pronoun in a sentence. See the table below to take a look at its usage and an example.

The list if Relative Pronouns are:

  • Who
  • Whom
  • That
  • Which
  • What
  • Whose

For Example:

  • The salesman who looked into my bills has been working in the store for five year
  • Lauren will be the actress whom we have chosen for the lead role
  • Riya handed over me the dress that she had won for her birthday
  • Jess went on to wear a fur coat, which has velvet buttons, for the night party.
  • I can never decide what to eat in a party
  • The farmer reported a case whose cows were stolen from the shed

Relative Pronoun Usage

Relative PronounUsageExample
Who
  • used for people
  • relate subject of the verb
  • replaces I, He, She, We, They
It was my friend who dropped off the gifts
Whom
  • reflect only people
  • determines object of the verb
  • It is used in place of Him, Her, Me
The teacher whom we greeted was appointed by the supervisor
That
  • defines only people and things
  • Introduces restrictive or defining clause
The black shoe that I bought for the trip was stolen
Which
  • used for things and animals
  • introduces non-restrictive or non-defining clause
The cardboard boxes, which were folded by me, are kept in the store
What
  • ‘what’ means ‘the things which’ in a sentence
  • It doesn’t refer to noun in a sentence
I might not know what to say, but i definitely know how to say.
Whose
  • It reflects  possession of some kind with the subject
  • It can also reflect relationship
The man whose daughter had gone missing has left us a message

Some More Rules for How to Solve Relative Pronoun

Defining vs. Non-Defining Relative Clauses

A sentence has two parts which can be put together to form a sentence. They are divided into:

  • Defining / Restrictive Clause
  • Non-defining / Non-Restrictive Clause

Defining Clause

Defining Clause is the one that adds additional information in a sentence which is essential. This type of information cannot be removed from the sentence or else it can leave a sentence incomplete or meaningless. This sentence also doesn’t require any punctuation.

This is the man that was bitten by a dog.

These are the students who were involved in malpractice during examination

These are two sentences which require the additional information. If any of the sentences had the second clause missing, the sentences would be let incomplete.

For example:

These are the students OR This is the man.

They are incomplete sentences.

Non-Defining Clauses

Non-Defining Clause is the part of a sentence that gives an additional information about the noun but is however not essential to give meaning to a sentence. Even if we remove the clause, the sentence would not be affected. A non-defining clause is essentially separated with a comma to reflect that you can remove it from the sentence.

For Example:

This bed, which is 50 years old, belonged to my grand father.

The painting, which is hung on the wall, is worth million dollars

In the sentences above, the phrase or clause that is within the punctuation can be eliminated and the sentence would still have the same meaning.

This bed belonged to my grand father.

The painting is worth million dollars

Relative Pronouns - How To Solve

There are several relative pronouns which we generally confuse between. Let’s read some of them and clear out our confusion.

When V/S Where

Sometime WHEN and WHERE can also be used as relative pronoun.

When is used to introduce a noun that describes the time of occurrence

Where is used to introduce a noun with respect to a place, and where refers to a place.

For Example:

My mother remembers the time when she was the best athlete in her town
My father couldn’t recall where he had kept his glasses

Who V/S That

The most common confusin is between Who and That. These two words are generally misplaced and used in alternate senses.

Who is placed in a sentence which describes the person as a relative pronoun,

That is used to describe an object or non-human things.

We adore the children who obey their parents
I am afraid of the dogs who are large in size and scary to look at

Which V/S That

Another most common error occurs while placing that and which in a sentence.

We use Which to describe objects and non-living things that introduces a dependent clause and relates with the non-restictive clause. This non-restrictive clause is non-essential to the defining/dependent clause. 

We use That on the other hand to provide additional information but this information is a restrictive clause and is essential to give information about the noun.

For Example:

The goat, which is quite old, went inside the shed

The goat that has only one hon went inside the shed.

Whose and Whom

Whose is used to replace Who when possession of the noun is in reference.

Whom is used in a sentence as the object of the verb or preposition.

For Example:

This is Riya, Whose purse has gone missing.

This is Riya whom you met in the party yesterday

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