Need Help?

Get in touch with us


Relative Pronouns

Grade 5
Aug 27, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. The lady who is walking with a child is holding a box. 
  2. The person who carries a bag is looking somewhere.    
  3. The drinks shop which is right beside the gifts shop seems empty. 
  4. The confectionary shop that is beside the gifts shop also seems empty. 

Have you noticed something in the sentences? There are words like who, that and which used in them that connect the statements, the sentences put forward. 

This particular session will look in detail at the segment relative pronouns that comes under pronouns, and their usages. 

I met Ryan who just came back home. 

Now, if you look closely, the word who is used in the sentence instead of the noun Ryan. It, therefore does the work of a pronoun.  

Similarly, the words which and who can also be used in the sentences to refer back to some noun that comes before. Therefore, who, that, and which can be called the relative pronouns


A relative pronoun is the one that relates or refers to some noun that comes before. 


  • I liked the pen which you gifted me. 
  • She is someone who likes to take risks. 
  • I returned the money that I owed him. 

So, that is more or less about when it comes to describing relative pronouns

Now, let us look at the use of relative pronouns who, which and that


It is a general rule that who is used for persons only. It may refer to a singular or a plural noun that comes before. 



Cooper, who is my cousin, is going abroad for his higher studies. 

The person who had helped us at times of distress is to be respected. 

My brother, who is an engineer, has gone to Canada. 

Who has a possessive form whose. We use it to refer to persons, animals and also things without life, like; 

  • The sun, whose rays give life to earth, can sometimes be dangerous as well. 
  • This is the question whose solution I find tough to reach. 


Which is used to refer to things without life and for animals. It may refer to singular or plural nouns. 


  • Time which is lost can never be reversed. 
  • The camel which carried in to the desert looks tired. 
  • The books which I like are the ones that I keep in mind while writing a story. 
  • I gave her a dollar, which was all I had. 


That is used to refer to persons and things. It may also refer to a singular or a plural noun. 


  • Is this the boy that you told me about? 
  • She knows the house that I live in. 
  • I lost the pen that you gave me. 
  • Happy is the man that findeth wisdom. 

PS: That and which, since they also refer to things, can be used interchangeably in most cases. 


Related topics


Exploring the World of Adjectives: Types, Usage, and Examples

What are Parts of Speech? Parts of speech determine words’ grammatical and semantic position in a sentence. Activity time The parts of speech are nouns, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, interjections, adjectives, articles, prepositions, and verbs. Identify the parts of speech of the underlined words in the following sentences. White- Adjective Big- Adjective    Exciting- Adjectives New- […]

Memoir writing

Memoir Writing: Basic Elements, Structures, and Types

Memoir: A memoir is a narrative written from an author’s perspective about a particular facet of his/her own life. ‘Memoir’ word comes from the French word ‘memoire’, which means ‘memory’ or ‘reminiscence’. Example Night: Elie Wiesel gives an account of how he survived his teenage years at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War […]

Identifying the main idea

Identification of Main Idea in Fiction and Non-fiction

Every story or paragraph or non-fictional text has at least one main idea. The MAIN IDEA is what the text is mostly about. (It is backed up or supported by SUPPORTING DETAILS) Before discussing how to find the main idea, we shall first look at TOPIC. Can you define a topic? A topic can be […]

Writing an Article

Writing an Article: Structure and Essential Tips

What is an article? Structure of Article Writing : Title : Draw the attention of readers with an attractive title and indicate the main topic of the article Introduction : Attract the reader’s attention with a sentence that gives a general presentation of the topic. Main Body : Between these sentences, the body should do […]


Other topics