Relative clauses – Who /which / where /when

Relative clauses

Who /which / where /when

We use relative clauses and relative pronouns like who, which, where to introduce them in order to identify people and things or to give more information about them.

•           That boy who is standing at the bus stop over there is my little brother.

•           My new camera which I bought on the internet last week is broken.

•           The High Street jeweller’s which bought and sold silver and where you could get a good price by bargaining has closed down.

        *On which is sometimes used as a more precise sounding alternative to when to introduce relative clauses after nouns referring to time:

•           The day when I’m forced to give up riding will be a sad day for me.

*    Whose is the only possessive relative pronoun in English. It can be used with both people and things:

The family whose house burnt in the fire was immediately given a suite in a hotel.

The book whose author is now being shown in the news has become a bestseller.


In American English, whom is not used very often. Whom is more formal than who and is very often omitted in speech:

*The woman (whom) you have just talked to is my teacher. (Note that who is also possible here)

 Omar Ait Hnizzi – Lycée IbnBattouta/Aklim 

Exercices :

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