Relative pronouns and compound relative pronouns explained with examples

len Alfred Ajibola - Mon, 11th March, 2019 @ 3:57 PM

Topics in English

Phrase: Types of Phrase Clause and types of clause explained Essay: How to write the major types of essay Nouns and Adjectives: Examples of nouns formed from adjectives Homonyms - Meaning and Examples of Homonyms Idioms and Examples of Idioms Synonyms: Meaning and examples of synonyms Figures of Speech: Meaning, examples and types of figure of speech Relative pronouns and compound relative pronouns explained with examples Transitive and Intransitive Verbs explained with examples Phrase explained with examples Essay: Formal, Semi-Formal and Informal Essays explained

Academic Questions in English

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Answer true of false with regards to the sentence below:

'Humility' is a noun and 'Humble' is an adjective

  • A. True

  • B. False

A part of a sentence or clause that contains a verb and something concerning the subject within that sentence is termed a/an _____.

  • A. Predicate

  • B. Object

  • C. Adverbial clause

  • D. Adverbial phrase

  • E. Half clause

  • F. Body of adverbial clause

The acronym Wi-Fi stands for _____.

  • A. Wireless Files

  • B. Wireless Flips

  • C. Wireless Fidelity

  • D. Wireless Freedom

  • E. Wireless and Free

  • F. Wireless Fun

The words massacre and bloodbath are _____.

  • A. Antonyms

  • B. Synonyms

  • C. Homonyms

  • D. Homophones

  • E. Heteronyms

  • F. Heterophone

_____ are words or a phrases or expressions that have an exact or closely related meaning with another word or phrase or expression

  • A. Antonyms

  • B. Synonyms

  • C. Homonyms

  • D. Homophones

  • E. Heteronyms

  • F. Heterophones

A figure of speech that shows a balanced expression written in a reverse order is the _____.

  • A. Oxymoron

  • B. Hyperbole

  • C. Onomatopoeia

  • D. Synecdoche

  • E. Anaphora

  • F. Chiasmus

The little giant is here

The figure of speech used in the above instance is _____.

  • A. Oxymoron

  • B. Hyperbole

  • C. Onomatopoeia

  • D. Synecdoche

  • E. Anaphora

  • F. Chiasmus

_____ is a figure of speech that uses two main words 'as and 'like' as a source of comparison between two things that normally do not have anything in common.

  • A. Metaphor

  • B. Irony

  • C. Simile

  • D. Oxymoron

  • E. Personification

  • F. Hyperbole

Relative Pronouns:

To gain an insight on what relative pronouns really are, we need to understand how nouns and pronouns function.

A noun is a name of any person, animal place or thing.

Example of nouns are: Olawunmi (person), dove (animal), lekki (place) and pen (thing).

A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun.

Examples of pronouns are: he, she, they and so on.

Consider the statements below:

  • Olawunmi went to the cinema.
  • 'Olawunmi (name of a person)' and 'cinema (a place)' are both nouns in the above instance.


What are relative pronouns?

A pronoun that refers to a noun that had been previously mentioned is termed a relative pronoun.

A relative pronoun is always related to a previously used noun. They are often used to join or connect two sentences, (that is, they can act a conjunctions). Also, they can stand alone as the subject or object of a sentence.

The list of relative pronouns in English language are quite limited but the frequently used ones include:

  • Who
  • Whom
  • Whose
  • Whoever
  • That
  • Whomever
  • How
  • However
  • Which
  • Whichever
  • When
  • Whenever
  • What
  • Whatever
  • Where
  • Wherever

Below are some examples of relative pronouns in sentences:

  • The little girl who came first studied hard.
  • Torn jean, which is quite expensive, is my favourite cloth.
  • Who gave you the book that you read yesterday?
  • The movie, when ended, became more meaningful.

Please read on transitive and intransitive verbs here.

Understand that the relative pronouns 'whoever, however, whomever, whichever, whenever, wherever and whatever' are all categorized as compound relative pronouns. They are called compound relative pronouns because they generally apply to more than one person or thing. The examples below shows their usage in sentences:

  1. Tell whoever may ask that I am not interested.
  2. Whomever wish may come in.
  3. Whichever cab you take, you will still arrive late.
  4. I am always successful in whatever I do.

You can read synonyms and its examples here.

It is important to note that relative clauses are often introduced into sentences by relative pronouns. For this reason: relative pronouns may also be defined as those words that introduce relative clauses.

Relative clauses are non-essential parts of a sentence that adds more meaning to the sentence, but if they are removed, the sentence will still remain functional and meaningful grammatically. Let's consider the instance below:

The policemen who came to our house were very brutal.

The relative clause 'came to our house' began with the relative pronoun 'who'

Please read more on clauses and phrases here.

Relative pronouns can also function as a possessive pronoun, an object, or a subject within a sentence. Consider the instances below:

  • The girl whose pen was broken is here. (The relative pronoun 'whose' also functions as a possessive pronoun).
  • Whose pen is this, he asked. (The relative pronoun 'whose' also functions as the subject of the sentence).
  • He answered that the pen is his. (The relative pronoun 'his' also functions as a the object of the sentence).


Importance of relative pronouns

Without relative pronoun, there will be no relative clause. A relative pronoun always introduces the relative clause. Consider the sentence below:

He killed the snake.

With a relative clause, the above sentence will have a clearer meaning.

He killed the snake that swallowed the three chicks.

Now, you can see that the relative pronoun 'that' introduces the relative clause 'swallowed the three chicks'. The use of a relative pronoun gave us more information about the snake.

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Amazing facts in English

The only English word with five consecutive vowels is 'queueing'

The dot on the top of letter ‘i’ is called a tittle

The sentence below uses every letter in the English alphabet:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Cat furnishings - Len Academy

The furry tufts of hair inside a cat's ear are called ear furnishings

There are only four words in the English language that end in 'dous'. These are:

  • Tremendous 

  • Horrendous

  • Stupendous

  • Hazardous

The only English word that ends with the letters 'mt' is dreamt and its derivatives; that is: undreamt, daydreamt, and redreamt

Los Angeles is America's second largest city. It's original name is 'El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula'. In English language, this means: 'Town of our Lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciúncula'

If you close your eyes in a completely dark room. When you open them, the color you see is called eigengrau, which means intrinsic gray

I.e is an abbreviation for id est which means 'that is,'

E.g is an abbreviation for exempli gratia which means 'for the sake of example,'

You can read all of Wikipedia's content offline by downloading it's database. Below is the link to download Wikipedia's database:

Download Wikipedia's Database here


Homonyms are words with the same spellings, same sounds but different meanings.

Below are some sentences containing homonyms with their respective meanings:

  • Keen

We have a keen match against Ronaldo’s team and Messi seems to be keen.

Keen: An involvement of people competing very hard for something.

Keen: Very interested in something.

  • Tear

Regardless the tear you shed, Mr. Frank will still tear your examination scripts.

Tear: The drop of liquid that comes out from a person's eye when they cry.

Tear: To damage something by pulling or cutting it apart.

  • Jot

There isn't any jot of truth in what he said, so I didn't jot anything down.

Jot: A very small amount of something

Jot: To write something quickly

Please read more on homonyms here

Certain words in English language appear to be similar but are quite different in meaning.

The table below shows some examples:











Synonyms should not be confused with the above instance. They are different words with similar meanings.

Please read more on synonyms here.

Some words always exist in the plural form. Examples of such words are:

  • Scissors
  • Shears
  • Alms
  • News
  • Trousers

Possessive adjective tells you the owner of a thing. For instance;

This is his car.

'His' in the above statement is describing him as the owner of the car; and this makes 'his' a possessive adjective.

That is your bag.

'Your' is a possessive adjective in the above statement.

Note: An adjective is a word that describes a noun.

Possessive pronouns show possession.

A possessive pronoun will always correspond with each of the personal pronouns. For Instance:

I own the book. ('I' is a personal pronoun)

The book is mine. ('Mine' is the possessive pronoun)

She owns a car. ('She' is a personal pronoun)

The car is hers. ('Hers' is the possessive pronoun)