Business & Management

What are Relative Clauses?

relative clauses

Relative clauses are clauses starting with relative pronouns such as (who-where-whom-which- when), we used it to identify nouns.


  • The woman she lives next to the door is a doctor. (here in this sentence we need to put relative clause how can we make this we will remove she and put who (relative clause)

The woman who lives next to the door is a doctor.

  • I know a lot of people they live in Paris. (here in this sentence we need to put relative clause so we will remove they and put who)

I know a lot of people who live in Paris.

  • A teacher is someone who teaches lessons. (he relative clauses here is who).


1-As we see in the examples we used who (relative clause) when we are talking about people not things). we put it instead of (he-she-they).

2- sometimes we can use (that) instead of (who) for example:

  • The woman that lives next to the door is very friendly.
  • When we are talking about people we use (who).
  • When we are talking about the things we use (that) or (which).


  1. Where is the food? It was in the fridge. in this sentence we are talking about things, so we can use two clauses.
  2. Where is the food that was in the fridge? or Where is the food which was in the fridge?  
  3. I don’t like stories that have a sad ending. or  I don’t like stories which have a sad ending.   

Remember that we use who-that-which instead of he-she-it


1-Sara works in a makes washing machines.>> Sara works in a company that makes washing machines

2-A bus goes to the airport. It runs every half hour.>> A bus goes to the airport that runs every half hour.

3-The police have caught the men. they stole my car.>> The police have caught the men who stole my car.

4- I don’t like people. they are never on time.>> I don’t like people who are never on time.

5-What’s happened to the pictures. they were on the wall.>> What’s happened to the pictures that were on the wall.

Relative clauses with (whom-where-whose)


Sometimes we use (whom) to refer to an object of verb or preposition.


  • This is Sara whom you met at our house last week. (here in the sentence whom is the object of met.)
  • This is Sarah’s sister, with whom I went to the cinema. (here in the sentence whom is the object of with.)

2. Where

we use it to talk about places in relative places.


1-The hotel we stayed there wasn’t very clean.>> The hotel where we stayed wasn’t very clean.

2-The city you live there is beautiful.>> The city where you live is beautiful.

3. Whose

We use whose in relative clause instead of (her-his-their)


1-We saw some people their car had broken down.>> We saw some people whose car had broken down.

2-A widow is a woman her husband is dead.>> A widow is a woman whose husband is dead.

General Examples on Relative Clauses

  1. The woman whom I wanted to see was away on holiday.
  2. I recently went back to the city where I was born.
  3. Do you still remember that day we met?
  4. The reason that I’m phoning you to invite you to a party.
  5. What is the name of the man whose car you borrowed?
  6. Do you know a restaurant where we can eat a delicious meal?
  7. Ann told me about her new job which enjoying very much.
  8. My brother Adam who lives in Paris is a doctor.
  9. Have you found the keys that you lost?
  10. I gave her all money that I had.

See Also
Question Tags in English
The Gerund in English Grammar