RELATIVE PRONOUNS

The relative pronouns are invariable (they never change), they substitute a noun and link two sentences. I pronomi relativi sono invariabili, sostituiscono un sostantivo e uniscono due frasi.

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The defining relative clauses are sentences which define in detail the person, thing or animal they refer to. Such sentences cannot be omitted since they wouldn’t make sense. I pronomi relativi (in italiano: che, il quale, la quale, i quali, le quali, cui, di cui,...) possono trovarsi in frasi subordinate relative restrittive, così dette in quanto servono a definire esattamente la persona, cosa o animale cui ci si riferisce. Tali frasi subordinate non si possono omettere altrimenti verrebbe a mancare il senso. They may have the following functions: Possono avere le seguenti funzioni:

Function Subject Object

Reference to People Who, that* That, who, whom* Things / concepts Which, that Which, that

* whom is used when the relative pronoun, referred to a person, has the function of object or is preceded by a preposition. si usa whom quando il pronome relativo, riferito a persona, svolge la funzione di complemento oggetto o quando è preceduto da preposizione. *that (in defining clauses) can be used instead of who, whom or which. si usa that (nelle relative restrittive) in alternativa a who, whom or which. That is the businessman. He wants to buy our house. That is the businessman who/that wants to buy our house. This is the radio. It is not working. This is the radio which/that isn’t working.

This is the teacher. His daughter is my classmate. This is the teacher, whose daughter is my classmate. Mary's psychology teacher is Dr. Martin. Dr. Martin has been teaching for 30 years. Mary's psychology teacher is Dr. Martin, who has been teaching for 30 years.
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We installed an alarm in our car. The insurance company requires an alarm to grant me a discount. We installed an alarm in our car which the insurance company requires to grant me a discount. The relative pronouns subject must always be expressed. I pronomi relativi in funzione di soggetto devono essere sempre espressi. The poet who/that received the Nobel was not well-known. The vet cured a dog which/that had a broken leg. The relative pronouns object are generally omitted. I pronomi relativi in funzione di oggetto vengono generalmente omessi. The girl (whom/that) you met is my teacher’s daughter. The computer (which/that) you see is not mine. The book (that) he borrowed is very difficult to understand. The man who is coming is my father. The men who are coming to perform are from my hometown. The book that is on the table can be sold now. He is the kind of person that/who will never let you down. The old lady who lives next door is a teacher.

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The non defining relative clauses are very formal sentences (hardly ever used in spoken language). They give additional information on the person, animal, thing but without being necessary to their definition. Therefore such sentences can be easily omitted without interfering with the sense of the sentence. I pronomi relativi, in frasi subordinate relative non restrittive, sono molto formali e poco usati nel parlato. Sono frasi incidentali che forniscono informazioni ulteriori e quindi non necessarie a definire la persona, animale o cosa di cui si parla. Nello scritto, le relative non restrittive sono espresse fra due virgole e possono essere eliminate senza modificare il senso della frase. They may have the following functions: Possono avere le seguenti funzioni:

Function

Reference to People
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Things / concepts

Subject Object 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

who who, whom

which which

Lucy, who is my cousin, is a nice person. Lucy, whom you met last week, has gone to France. Lucy, to whom you spoke yesterday, has fallen sick. My ruchsack, which is under the desk, is my uncle Tom’s gift. My rucksack, which I bought last week, is very big. My rucksack, in which I keep all my school things, has disappeared.

P.S. When the relative pronoun is not a subject, it can be omitted in the written language and is constantly omitted in the spoken language. Look again at sentences 2, 3, 5, 6. In sentence 3 and 6, once omitted the relative pronounce you have to put the preposition after the verb. Quando il pronome relativo non svolge la funzione di soggetto, può essere omesso nella forma scritta e costantemente omesso nella forma parlata. Riguardate le frasi 2, 3, 5, 6. Nelle frasi 3 e 6, una volta omesso il pronome relativo dovete collocare la preposizione dopo il verbo. 2. 3. 5. 6. Lucy, you met last week, has gone to France. Lucy, you spoke to yesterday, has fallen sick. My rucksack, I bought last week, is very big. My rucksack, I keep all my school things in, has disappeared.

P.S. That is never used in non defining clauses. Non si usa mai that nelle frasi non restrittive. The visitor for whom you were waiting has arrived. The visitor you were waiting for has arrived.

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Function in the sentence
Possessive whose, of which Place where Time when Explanation what/why

When the relative pronoun is preceded by preposition, we generally prefer ( in the spoken language) to omit the relative pronoun and postpone the preposition after the verb. Quando il pronome relativo è preceduto da preposizione, si preferisce (nella lingua parlata) omettere il pronome relativo e collocare la preposizione dopo il verbo.
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This is the bed on which I sleep.  This is the bed I sleep on. This is the house in which I live.  This is the house I live in. The relative pronoun whose (used to point out possession) is always expressed. Il pronome relativo whose è sempre espresso e seguito dalla cosa posseduta o dalla persona in relazione. That’s the boy whose rucksack is hidden under the teacher’s desk. This is the horse whose foal has been left into the vet’s care. Remember that the relative adverbs where, when, why, how are generally used instead of which. Non dimenticare che gli avverbi relativi where, when, why, how sono generalmente usati al posto di which. There are places in which/where you feel at ease. There are days on which/when you prefer staying home rather than going to work. That is the reason for which/why I didn’t came. Tell me the way in which/how you broke your arm

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Pay attention to what, all that/everything that, which: Fai attenzione a what (ciò/quello che), all that/everything that (tutto ciò/tutto quello che), which (il che/la qual cosa): I really don’t know what they are going to do. All that he told me was to wait for him here. I will tell her everything that happened. I’ve lost your phone number, which means I can’t call you. There are several cases when that is more appropriate than which: Ci sono vari casi in cui that è più appropriato di which: 1) After the pronouns (dopo i pronomi) "all," "any(thing)," "every(thing)," "few," "little," "many," "much," "no(thing)," "none," "some(thing)": The police usually ask for every detail that helps identify the missing person. Dessert is all that he wants. 2) After the noun modified by an adjective in the superlative degree: Dopo un sostantivo modificato da un aggettivo di grado superlativo: This is the best resource that I have ever read!
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*Interactive Exercises
http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/relative-clauses/exercises?02 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/relative-clauses/exercises?04 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/relative-clauses/exercises?07 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/relative-clauses/exercises?11 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/tests/relative-clauses-1 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/tests/relative-clauses-2 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/tests/relative-clauses-3 http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/tests/relative-clauses-4

*Please note the videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFQWaCFCJLA&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZG0PaSXPVU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-ZZ39of9Qk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTnM8sPuZXw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVazAtv_9VE&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzijCC7-aoQ&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSbwCBEi9zU&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_tR59hcxwo

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