love.43.gif The relative pronouns are:
fleurs-gif-086.gifRelative pronouns used in defining relative clauses:

For persons
For things
whose/of which

0035.gif Defining relative clauses: persons

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Subject: who or that
who is normally used:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe man who robbed you has been arrested.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe girls who serve in the shop are the owner's daughters.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifOnly those who had booked in advance were allowed in.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifWould anyone who saw the accident please get in touch with the police?

webmaster_fleches029d.gifBut that is a possible alternative after (all, everyone, everybody, no one, nobody and those): 

webmaster_fleches029d.gifEveryone who/that knew him liked him.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifNobody who/that watched the match will ever forget it.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object of a verb: whomwhothat

The object form is whom, but this is considered very formal. In spoken English, we normally use who or that (that being more usual than who), and it is still more common to omit the object pronoun altogether:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe man (whom/who/that) I saw told me to come back today.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe girls (whom/who/that) he employs are always complaining about their pay.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif With a preposition: whom/that

In formal English the preposition is placed before the relative pronoun, which must then be put into the form whom:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe man to whom I spoke is my cousin. 
In informal speech, however, it is more usual to move the preposition to the end of the clause. whom is often replaced by that, but it is still more common to omit the relative altogether.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe man who/whom I spoke to is my cousin. or The man (that) I spoke to is my cousin.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe man from whom I bought it told me to oil it. or The man (who/that) I bought it from told me to oil it.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe friend with whom I was travelling spoke Spanish. or The friend (who/that) I was travelling with spoke Spanish.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Possessive:

whose is the only possible form:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifPeople whose rents have been raised can appeal.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe film is about a spy whose wife betrays him.

0035.gif Defining relative clauses: things

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Subject:

Either which or thatwhich is the more formal:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThis is the picture which/that caused such a sensation.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe stairs which/that lead to the cellar are rather slippery.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object of a verb: which or that, or no relative at all:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe car (which/that) I hired broke down.
which is hardly ever used after (all, everything, little, much, none, no) and compounds of no, or after superlatives. Instead, we use that, or omit the relative altogether, if it is the object of a verb:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifAll the apples that fall are eaten by the donkey.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThis is the best hotel (that) I know.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object of a preposition:

 The formal construction is preposition+which, but it is more usual to move the preposition to the end of the clause, using which or that or omitting the relative altogether:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe ladder on which I was standing began to slip. or The ladder (which/that) I was standing on began to slip.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Possessive:

whose+ a clause is possible but with+ a phrase is more usual:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifHe lived in a house whose walls were made of glass.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifHe lived in a house with glass walls.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Relative adverbs: whenwherewhy

Note that when can replace in/on which (used of time):

webmaster_fleches029d.gifthe year when (=in which) he was born.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifthe day when (=on which) they arrived.

where can replace in/at which (used of place):
the hotel where (=in/at which) they were staying.
why can replace for which: The reason why he refused is...
whenwhere and why used in this way are called relative adverbs.

0035.gif Non-defining relative clauses: persons

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Subject: who 

No other pronoun is possible. Note the commas:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifMy neighbour, who is very pessimistic, says there will be no apples this year.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifPeter, who had been driving all day, suggested stopping at the next town.

Clauses such as these are found mainly in written English.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object: whomwho

The pronoun cannot be omitted. whom is the correct form, though who is sometimes used in conversations:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifPeter, whom everyone suspected, turned out to be innocent.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object of a preposition: whom

The pronoun cannot be omitted. The preposition is normally placed before whom:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifMr Jones, for whom I was working, was very generous about overtime payments.

It is however possible to move the preposition to the end of the clause. This is commonly done in conversation, and who then usually takes the place of whom:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifMr Jones, whom I was working for, was very generous about overtime payments.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Possessive: whose

webmaster_fleches029d.gifAnn, whose children are at school all day, is trying to get a job.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThis is George, whose class you will be taking.

0035.gif Non-defining relative clauses: things

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Subject: which

that is not used here:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThat block, which cost £5 million to build, has been empty for years.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe 8.15 train, which is usually very punctual, was late today.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Object of a preposition:

The preposition comes before which, or (more formally) at the end of the clause:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifAshdown Forest, through which we'll be driving, isn't a forest any longer.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifAshdown Forest, which we'll be driving through, isn't a forest any longer.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifHis house, for which he paid £10,000, is now worth £50,000.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifHis house, which he paid £10,000 for, is now worth £50,000.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif which with phrasal verbs such as look afterlook forward toput up with... should be treated as a unit, i.e. the preposition/adverb should not be separated from the verb:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThis machine, which I have looked after for twenty years, is still working perfectly.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifYour inefficiency, which we have put up with far too long, is beginning to annoy our customers.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Possessive: whose or of which

whose is generally used both for animals and things. of which is possible for things, but unusual except in very formal English:

webmaster_fleches029d.gifHis house, whose windows were all broken, was a depressing sight.

webmaster_fleches029d.gifThe car, whose handbrake wasn't very reliable, began to slide backwards.

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