A relative pronoun is a type of pronoun that introduces a dependent clause in a sentence and relates that clause to a noun (antecedent) that precedes it. Relative pronouns are used to provide additional information about the noun and connect different parts of a sentence. In English, the most common relative pronouns are as follows:
- Who: Used to refer to people. For example, “The person who won the race is my family friend .”
- Whom: Also used to refer to people, but it is less commonly used in modern English. For example, “The teacher whom you met is very knowledgeable.”
- Which: Used to refer to things or animals. For example, “The book, which is on the shelf, is my favorite.”
- That: Used to refer to both things and people. For example, “The car that I bought last week is red.”
- Whose: Used to indicate possession or relationships. For example, “The man whose dog I found is grateful.”
Relative pronouns are crucial for connecting ideas and providing additional information in complex sentences. They help avoid redundancy and make the text more concise and coherent by introducing relative clauses that describe or identify the antecedent noun.