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Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns link independent and dependent clauses in sentences. They are who, whom, whose, that and which. Who, whom, whose and that can refer to people, while whose, that and which can refer to things. Which does not work with people.

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Grammarians, we're gonna talk about relative pronouns today and what relative pronouns do is they link clauses together, specifically, independent and dependent clauses, and if you don't know what independent and dependent clauses are, that's okay, just, suffice it to say, that these pronouns allow you to staple phrases together. For example, in the sentence, the man who sold the world is coming by on Tuesday, the pronoun who, is the relative pronoun there, it's linking the independent clause, the man is coming by on Tuesday to the dependent clause, sold the world. The relative pronouns of English are who, whom, whose, that and which, and we use them all for different things. So, we can use who, whom, whose and that to refer to people, and we can use whose, that and which to refer to things. Let me show you. You could say, the salad that I bought was wilted. But at the same time, I can also use that in this sentence. The man that I saw smiled. See, I'm using that to refer to him. I could also use who, but the word which, however, does not play very nicely with people. In the sentence, the witch who cast the spell is kind, we could use either the witch who cast the spell or the witch that cast the spell because both that and who work with people. But which, strangely, does not. So we couldn't say, for example, the witch which owns a cat is cruel. That's just now how the language shook out, which is not a relative pronoun that applies to people. These are the relative pronouns of English, this is broadly how they work and I'm gonna get into more specifics in following videos. You can learn anything, David out.