Lego|Grammar|Pre-Int|12. Who — which

Read the rule

pic1_Lego|Grammar|Pre-Int|L12

We use who in a relative clause when we are talking about people (not things).

When we are talking about things, we use which (not who) in a relative clause.

You can also use that instead of who and which in defining relative clauses.

Defining relative clauses tell you important information about which person or thing (or what kind of person or thing) the speaker means:

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

We do not use commas (,) with these clauses.

When who/that/which is the object, you can leave it out. So you can say:

e.g. The woman I wanted to see was away on holiday.

You must use who/that/which when it is the subject of the relative clause.

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

Whom is possible instead of who when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause.

e.g. George is a person whom I admire very much.

It is much less common and more formal than who.

Non-defining clauses give us extra information about the person or thing, we already know which thing or person is meant: «My brother Ben»:

e.g. My brother Ben, who lives in Hong Kong, is an architect.

We use commas (,) with these clauses.

Sometimes who/that/which is the object of the verb.

e.g. The woman who I wanted to see was away on holiday. (who(= the woman) is the object,I is the subject)

For defining clauses only: When who/that/which is the object, you can leave it out. So you can say:

e.g. The woman (who) I wanted to see was away on holiday.

You must use who/that/which when it is the subject of the relative clause.

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

Whom is possible instead of who when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause.

e.g. George is a person whom I admire very much.

It is much less common and more formal than who.

RELATIVE CLAUSES

We use who when we are talking about people.

e.g. The girl who was injured in the accident is now in hospital.

We use which when we are talking about things.

e.g. My aunt prefers shops which sell organic food.

You can also use that instead of who and which.

e.g. Grace works for a company that makes furniture.

e.g. This morning I met somebody (who/ that) I hadn’t seen for ages.

For each sentence, choose the best word or phrase from the choices below

 

For each sentence choose and write that, which or who

pic2_Lego|Grammar|Pre-Int|L12

Non-defining clauses give us extra information and that we use commas with these clauses.

We use who in a relative clause when we are talking about people (not things).

When we are talking about things, we use which (not who) in a relative clause.

You can also use that instead of who and which in defining relative clauses.

Defining relative clauses tell you important information about which person or thing (or what kind of person or thing) the speaker means:

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

We do not use commas (,) with these clauses.

When who/that/which is the object, you can leave it out. So you can say:

e.g. The woman I wanted to see was away on holiday.

You must use who/that/which when it is the subject of the relative clause.

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

Whom is possible instead of who when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause.

e.g. George is a person whom I admire very much.

It is much less common and more formal than who.

Non-defining clauses give us extra information about the person or thing, we already know which thing or person is meant: «My brother Ben»:

e.g. My brother Ben, who lives in Hong Kong, is an architect.

We use commas (,) with these clauses.

Sometimes who/that/which is the object of the verb.

e.g. The woman who I wanted to see was away on holiday. (who(= the woman) is the object,I is the subject)

For defining clauses only: When who/that/which is the object, you can leave it out. So you can say:

e.g. The woman (who) I wanted to see was away on holiday.

You must use who/that/which when it is the subject of the relative clause.

e.g. The woman who lives next door is a doctor.

Whom is possible instead of who when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause.

e.g. George is a person whom I admire very much.

It is much less common and more formal than who.


When who/that/which is the object, we can leave it out. Whom is possible instead of who both in defining and non-defining clauses when it is the object of the verb in the relative clause.

Correct the mistakes and rewrite the sentences

Let’s talk about your favourite films. Complete the sentences and give your answers

pic3_Lego|Grammar|Pre-Int|L12

Read the rules

Intermediate

Use relative clauses to define things or people, or to give more information.

Examples

«Activity» is a party game which has gained popularity over the last decade. You need a board and 2 teams of players who have to explain, act or draw words and phrases. Explaining a word can be challenging.

Forms

Relative clauses — a part of a sentence which describes a noun.

«Bermuda Triangle» is an area where ships and planes can disappear.

Burford, where my mother was born, is a beautiful town.

• Relative clauses can start with these pronouns:

who — for people

which — for objects

whose + noun — of who/of which

where — for places

Usage

Defining relative clauses

Non-defining relative clauses

Add important information to the sentence to define somebody or something.

It’s a book which tells you how to relax.

Add extra information to the sentence.

Last week I visited my aunt, who is nearly 90 years old.

Which/who can be replaced by that.

A memory stick is a small piece of equipment which/that can store information.

That can’t be used.

The painting, which (that) was made in 1870, costs $2 million.

Who/which/that can be left out when the relative clause has a different subject.

He’s the man (who/that) I met on the plane.

Who/which can NOT be left out.

This game, which can be bought in online and offline stores, will always be a hit with your guests.

The clause is NOT separated by commas.

He showed me the shop where he used to work.

The clause is separated by commas.

My son, who is a programmer, moved to the US.


Decide whether which or who are necessary

Join these sentences using who and which beginning with the words given. Omit the pronoun if possible


Join these sentences using which or who. Omit the pronoun if possible. Add commas if necessary

  • Relative clauses
  • Types of clauses
  • Discussion
  • Who or which
  • Let's check

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