Relative Pronoun

A relative pronoun is a pronoun used to mark a relative clause, and having the same referent as the element of the main clause (usually a noun or noun phrase) which the relative clause modifies.

An example is the English word which in the sentence "This is the house which Jack built." Here which Jack built is a relative clause modifying the noun house. The relative pronoun which marks the relative clause and refers (within the relative clause) to the man being referred to in the main clause. It can be considered to provide a link between the two sentences "This is a house" and "Jack built the house", where the house referred to in each case is the same.

In providing a link between a subordinate clause and a main clause, a relative pronoun is similar in function to a subordinating conjunction. Unlike a conjunction, however, a relative pronoun does not simply mark the subordinate (relative) clause, but also plays the role of a noun within that clause. For example, in the relative clause which Jack built given above, the pronoun which functions as the object of the verb build. Compare this with "Jack built the house after he married", where the conjunction after marks the subordinate clause after he married, but does not play the role of any noun within that clause.

For more information on the formation and uses of relative clauses, with and without relative pronouns, see Relative clause. For detailed information about relative clauses and relative pronouns in English, see English relative clause.

Read more about Relative Pronoun:  Antecedents, Absence of Relative Pronoun, Role of Relative Pronoun, Variant Forms of Relative Pronouns

Other articles related to "relative pronoun, relative pronouns":

Spanish Pronouns - Relative Pronouns - Que - El Que
... When the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, the definite article is added to que, and this agrees for number and gender, giving us el que, la que, los que, las que and the neuter lo que ... the end of the sentence, or it can go right before the relative pronoun "which" or "whom" ... but then changes to en when used with the relative pronoun) La casa en que vivo = "The house in which I live" (as opposed to the following) La casa en la que estoy encerrado = "The house ...
Proto-Indo-European Pronouns - Relative Pronoun
... PIE had a relative pronoun with the stem *(H)yo-. ...
French Pronouns - Relative Pronouns - In Ordinary Relative Clauses
... If the relative pronoun is to be the subject of the clause's verb, qui is ordinarily used « l'homme qui a volé ma bicyclette » ("the man who stole my bike") ... If the relative pronoun is to be the direct object of the clause's verb, que (or qu' before a vowel see elision) is ordinarily used « la bicyclette qu'il a volée ... If the relative pronoun is to be the grammatical possessor of a noun in the clause (usually marked with de), dont is used « le garçon dont j'ai volé la bicyclette » ("the boy from whom I stole the bicycle ...
Archaic Dutch Declension - Pronouns - Relative Pronoun
... Dutch has two different relative pronouns die and wie ... The die-form is the regular form, the wie-form is only used when the antecedent is missing ...
Variant Forms of Relative Pronouns
... as German, Serbo-Croatian and Latin, which have gender, number, and noun declensions, the relative pronoun agrees with its antecedent in gender and number, while its case indicates its relationship with the verb in the ... In some other languages, the relative pronoun is an invariable word ... The words used as relative pronouns are often words which originally had other functions for example, the English which is also an interrogative word ...

Famous quotes containing the words pronoun and/or relative:

    Would mankind be but contented without the continual use of that little but significant pronoun “mine” or “my own,” with what luxurious delight might they revel in the property of others!... But if envy makes me sicken at the sight of everything that is excellent out of my own possession, then will the sweetest food be sharp as vinegar, and every beauty will in my depraved eyes appear as deformity.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    And since the average lifetime—the relative longevity—is far greater for memories of poetic sensations than for those of heartbreaks, since the very long time that the grief I felt then because of Gilbert, it has been outlived by the pleasure I feel, whenever I wish to read, as in a sort of sundial, the minutes between twelve fifteen and one o’clock, in the month of May, upon remembering myself chatting ... with Madame Swann under the reflection of a cradle of wisteria.
    Marcel Proust (1871–1922)