You might have gone through the rules from 1 to 19 in the previous lesson. This lesson, Relative Pronouns, is continued from the previous lesson, and so, rules will be starting from 20.

The more popular Relative Pronouns are – who, whom, whose, which, that and what.

The following are the Rules of their correct use –

Rule 20 – ‘who’

Who’ is used in the Nominative case only for Persons, both in the Singular and Plural Numbers. ‘Who’ is not used for inanimate things. For animals also ‘who’ is not generally used. ‘Who’ is also used for People and Those. As –
  1. I know the man who came here yesterday.
  2. He is the thief who was caught red-handed.
  3. All the people who came here were happy.
  4. I know all those who were invited.

Rule 21 – ‘whom’

Whom’ is used only for Persons in the Objective/Accusative case both in Singular and Plural Numbers. As –

  1. The man whom I met yesterday has come.
  2. The boy whom i gave the books has secured first division.

Rule 22 – ‘which’

Which’ is used for animals and inanimate things. As –
  1. The pen which I purchased yesterday has been lost.
  2. The cow which stands there is very gentle.
  3. The house which has a high gate is mine.
Note:–  In Prepositional cases, the Preposition is always used before ‘which’. As –
  1. The post for which I applied is temporary.
  2. I don't remember the date in which he was born.
  3. Thus is the book about which I told you.
  4. This is the last chance on which i depend.
  5. The book of which the cover is torn is not mine.

Rule 23 – ‘whose’

Whose’ is used in Possessive Case both for Persons and animals. As –
  1. The boy whose father is the Principal is my friend.
  2. The girl whose eyes are blue is very sweet.
  3. Mark whose brother came yesterday has gone home.
Note –  Sometimes ‘whose’ is used for inanimate things also. As –
  • The sun whose rays give us light also give us life.

Rule 24 – ‘that’

(A)That’ is used both for animate and inanimate things both in Singular and Plural Numbers.
That’ has no Possessive/Genitive Case, and therefore no Preposition can be used before it. If it is very necessary to use a Preposition, it can be placed at the end of the sentence. In such a case, the sentence can be completed without ‘that’ also. As –
  1. I know the house that he lives in. Or,
    I know the house he lives in.
  2. I catch the point that you are hinting at. Or,
    I catch the point you are hinting at.
  3. I have not yet read the book that you suggested to me.
  4. I have lost the pen that you gave me.
(B) In the following cases, the use of ‘that’ is preferred to that of ‘who’ or ‘which’. As –
  1. After the Superlative Degree
    • Gandhi was the greatest man that modern India produced.
    • He is the best speaker that I have ever heard.
  2. After these words – all, same, any, none, nothing, only, anything, anybody, nobody, little, somebody, no one. As –
    • This is all the statement that he gave.
    • He is the same boy that came yesterday.
    • It is only the fools that talk that way.
    • It is not for nothing that I have been labouring so hard.
    • There was not any that could be heard.
    • There was none that was not moved to tears.
  3. After Interrogative Pronoun who/what
    • What is it that troubles you so much?
    • What is there that I cannot do?
    • Who am I that you should care for?
  4. After two Antecedents, one of which stands for a Person and the other for an animal or thing. As –
    • The rider and his horse that tried to cross the river were drowned.
    • The driver and his bus that crossed the lane struck against a tree.

Rule 25 – ‘what’

Relative Pronoun ‘what’ is used for things only. It is used without an Antecedent, and it means ‘that which’. As –

  1. What cannot be cured must be endured.
  2. What I told you is correct.
  3. I know what you want to say.
It would be wrong to use an Antecedent before ‘what’. As –
  • The story what I read was good.
This sentence is wrong because Antecedent ‘story’ has been used before ‘what’. Its correct firm would be –
  • The story that I read was good.

Rule 26 – ‘but’ as a Relative Pronoun

Sometimes, ‘but’ is used as a Relative Pronoun, it which case it means ‘who not/which not’. As –
  1. There is none but admires you.
    (but admires = who does not admire)
  2. There is no problem but can be solved.
    (but can be solved = which cannot be solved)
  3. There is none but loves his country.
    (but loves = who does not love)

«Previous   Next »