Relative pronouns

relative pronoun is a pronoun that is used to refer to nouns, modify them or say something more about them.

Notes

In English, the relative pronouns are WHO, THAT, WHICH and WHAT.

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

Relative pronouns - Video

WATCH THE VIDEO AND REPEAT:

"WHO IS SHE? SHE IS THE GIRL WHO COMES FROM ROME.

 WHAT IS THIS? IT IS THE DRAWING THAT I PAINTED FOR MY MOM."

What

We use WHAT in a lot of ways:

What...

  • This is what I like. - Questo è ciò che mi piace.
  • What you say is nice. - Quello che dici è carino.

What...?

  • What's this? - Che cos'è?
  • What are you doing? - Che stai facendo?
  • What happened to you? - Che ti è successo?

What...! 

  • What a nice hat! - Che bel cappello!
  • What a beautiful day! - Che bella giornata!
  • What a pity! - Che peccato!
  • What fun! - Che divertimento!
  • What bad weather! - Che brutto tempo!

Idioms with WHAT

Learn all the English idioms that want the relative pronoun WHAT!

  • What time is it? - Che ore sono?
  • What's your name? - Come ti chiami?
  • What's the weather like? - Che tempo fa?
  • What if it rains? - Cosa succede se piove?
  • What about me? - E io che faccio?
  • What about Susan? - Che notizie ci sono di Susan?
  • What's the matter? - Che succede?
  • What about taking a walk? - Cosa ne dici se andiamo a fare una passeggiata?

Who and that/which

The relative pronouns that are commonly used in English are WHO, THAT and WHICH.  We use WHO for people, THAT or WHICH for animals or objects.

Examples: 

  • She is the girl who lives in London.
  • It is the dog that/which always barks.
  • This is the train that/which stops at Oxford.

If the relative pronoun is the object of the relative clause, we do NOT use it.

Examples:

  • The girl you saw yesterday is my sister.
  • This is the dress I want. 

 

Download the worksheet below and learn how to use WHO, THAT and WHICH.

Who? Which? What?

We use Who? for people.

  • Who is it?
  • Who are you?

We use Which? for people, animals and things when we have no more than two or three possibilities.

  • Which colour do you prefer, blue or red?
  • Which train goes to London in the next 10 minutes?

We use What? for people, animals and things when we have a lot of choices.

  • What books do you prefer?
  • What is your size?

Watch out!

  • What is the difference between a dog and a cat?

 

Download the worksheet below and learn how to use WHO? WHICH? and WHAT?