Les Pronoms Rélatifs – relative pronouns

relative pronouns are words that join a main clause to a relative clause in a sentence.
This is a cake. I made this cake.

If I say: ‘this is the cake that I made.’ then I have used a relative pronoun to make a sentence with a main clause (this is a cake) with a relative clause (that I made).

Other examples:

  • The postman is someone who delivers letters
  • A corkscrew is something which you use to open wine bottles
  • A holiday is a time when people relax
  • A factory is a place where products are made
  • A widow is a woman whose husband is dead

Note that we can substitute ‘that’ for both ‘who’ and ‘which’, but we would never use ‘who’ for an object nor ‘which’ for a person.

Now try this exercise:


My brother, ________ isn't very intelligent, lost all his data because he never backs up his files.

He thinks computers are things ______ can think for you.

He obviously couldn't remember all the other times _____ his computer crashed suddenly.

He said that he was thinking about the letter _________ he received this morning.

He was wondering about the person ______ could have sent it

I said it didn't matter from _______ it came.

and I asked him _________ hand-writing it could be.

He said it must be someone _______ didn't like him very much.

and said that there were a lot of problems ________ were troubling him at the moment.

I said that he needed to find a quiet place _______ he could go to rest and think over his problems.



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