Study P2 English Pronouns - Geniebook

Pronouns

In this topic of pronouns, we will be learning about:

  • Relative pronouns 
  • Interrogative pronouns 

Just for a quick recap, a group of pronouns is one subject. 

 

What Is A Pronoun?

A pronoun is normally used to refer to a noun. Now you already know a noun refers to a person, place or an object. 

 

A relative pronoun refers to the nouns that come before it. 

Example:

The place where I grew up. 

Here - noun is the place and the relative pronoun is where.

 

An interrogative pronoun normally comes at the start of a sentence. 

Example:

Where did you grow up?

Here - the interrogative pronoun is where.

 

English Concept: Relative Pronouns

WHO/WHOM            WHOSE           THAT/WHICH          WHERE           WHEN 

  1. Used to refer to nouns
  2. Usually found in the middle of a sentence
  3. Can be used to join two sentences together

 

Let’s understand each of the relative pronouns' meanings with a few examples. 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHO/WHOM

Refer to a person 

The man, who sells fruits, is very friendly. (Think: he sells fruits.)

The man, whom you were talking to, is my uncle. (Think: you were talking to him.)

 

Here, how do we know when to use WHO and when to use WHOM?

Here is a little trick that would help you. 

In the first sentence of the above table, take the verb - sells fruits and make a sentence with the pronoun he/she. If it makes sense then you are using the correct relative pronoun - who. 

Similarly, for the second sentence, take the verb - you were talking to and make a sentence with him/her. If the sentence sounds alright, then relative pronoun - whom is used correctly.

 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHOSE

To show what comes next belongs to the first person 

The girl, whose doll is broken, is upset. 

The boy, whose mother is a nurse, is very helpful.

 

Let’s understand this with the above sentences.

In the first sentence, we are trying to show that the doll belongs to the girl. Similarly in the second sentence, the mother belongs to the boy.

Quite simple, isn’t it? Be careful and don’t confuse whose with who/whom.

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

THAT / WHICH

Use THAT when referring to people, animals or things

Use WHICH when referring to things

The puppy that Martin owns is very adorable. 

I don’t know which pair of shoes is mine. 

 

So the clear difference we need to remember is THAT is used for people, animals or things. But WHICH is used only for things. 
 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHERE

To link a location 

The park where we played was very clean.

The restaurant where I like to eat at is under renovation. 

 

WHERE is a very specific relative pronoun used to refer to places. You can understand that from the above sentences. 

 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHEN

To link a moment (Time) 

7.00pm is the time when I go for a jog.

December is the month when many people go on vacation. 

WHEN is again a very specific relative pronoun used only to refer to time. It will become more clear as you look at the above sentences. 


 

English Concept: Interrogative Pronouns

WHO/WHOM            WHOSE           WHICH          WHERE           WHEN 

  1. Used to ask a question
  2. Usually found at the start of a sentence
  3. Use the correct interrogative pronoun for the correct subject. 

 

Let’s understand each of the interrogative pronouns' meanings with a few examples. 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHO/WHOM

To ask about a person 

Who is that?

Who were you talking to?

To whom are you sending this letter? (Note: “whom” is rarely used in questions.)

 

Who is used when enquiring about a person. 

Whom is used when enquiring about an action that’s happening.  

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHOSE

To ask about the owner of an object

Whose toy is that?

Whose books are these? 

 

Whose is used to establish the question about the owner of the object. You can understand that from the above sentences. 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHICH

To refer to two or more choices 

  Which sandwich would you like?

  Which one is your favourite? 

 

Which is used when you are talking about choosing between two or more options. 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHERE

To ask about a place

 Where are we going?

 Where is the cinema?

 

Where is used when asking about a particular place. They are very easy to use. 

Relative Pronouns

Used For/To

WHEN

To ask about a moment (Time)

 When is your birthday?

 When are we going to the theme park?

When is used to inquire about the time for a particular action or event. You can understand that from the above sentences. 


 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

My grandfather, __________ visits us yearly, is my favourite person in the world!

 

Hint: __________ (He/Him) visits us yearly. 

If it is “He” = Use “who”

If it is “Him = Use “whom”

 

  1. who
  2. whom 

 

Answer:

1) who

Explanation: 

If you use the hint carefully, you will be able to get the answer. The correct answer is 1) who.


 

Question 2:

My best friend, __________ I tell all my secrets to, is a great listener. 

 

Hint: I tell all my secrets to __________ (she/her).

If it is “She” = Use “who”

If it is “Her = Use “whom”

 

  1. who
  2. whom 

 

Answer:

2) whom

Explanation:

If you use the hint carefully, you will be able to get the answer. For pronoun “her”, we need to use the relative pronoun “whom”. Use this to fill in the hint sentence. The correct answer is 2) whom.


 

Question 3:

__________ did you have for breakfast?

 

  1. What
  2. Who
  3. Where
  4. Whom

 

Answer:

1) What

Explanation:

The correct answer is 1) What.


 

Question 4:

__________ car was parked there just now?

 

  1. Whose
  2. Who
  3. Whom
  4. Where

 

Answer:

1) Whose

Explanation:

The correct answer is 1) Whose. We are trying to establish who the car belongs to with an interrogative pronoun. 


 

Question 5: 

I cannot remember __________ one of these cups is mine.

 

  1. whom
  2. whose
  3. which 
  4. what

 

Answer:

3) which

Explanation:

The correct answer is 3) which. As we are talking about choosing one, we use “which”. We are choosing between two or more objects.


 

Question 6:

Do you know __________ the canteen is?

 

  1. whom
  2. that
  3. when
  4. where

 

Answer:

4) where

Explanation:

The correct answer is 4) where. Canteen is a place, so the most appropriate interrogative pronoun to be used is “where”.


 

Question 7:

This is the house __________ my father built.

 

  1. who
  2. that
  3. whom
  4. where

 

Answer:

2) that

Explanation:

The correct answer is 2) that. It cannot be “who” or “whom”, as we are talking about the object - house. 


 

Question 8:

I cannot find my socks! Do you know __________ they are?

 

  1. which
  2. where
  3. what
  4. whose 

 

Answer:

2) where

Explanation:

The correct answer is 2) where. We are talking about the location of the socks.


 

Question 9:

__________ should we hang our wet clothes? Easy! We should hang them out in the sun.

 

  1. Where
  2. What
  3. Which
  4. Who

 

Answer:

1) Where

Explanation: 

The correct answer is 1) Where. As the location is being talked about in the above sentences, “where” is used.


 

Question 10:

My grandfather was born in 1942 __________ World War II was taking place.

 

  1. who
  2. whose
  3. which
  4. when 

 

Answer:

4) when

Explanation: 

The correct answer is 4) when, as it talks about the time of the event. 


 

Summarising Today’s Learnings:

Relative pronouns link back to the main noun in a sentence.

  • Usually found in the middle of a sentence
  • Can be used to join two sentences together 
  • Who, whom, whose, when, where, which, that

Interrogative pronouns ask a question. 

  • Usually found at the start of a sentence
  • Use the correct pronoun to match the subject
  • Who, whom, whose, when, where, which (“that” is not an interrogative pronoun)


 

Continue Learning
Prepositions Comprehension 1
Editing 1 Adjectives And Adverbs
Conjunctions 1 Adjectives 1
Tenses / Subject-Verb Agreement Pronouns
Composition Basics Pronouns and Determiners
Vocabulary Cloze Comprehension Cloze

 

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