Relative Clauses with WHO, WHICH and THAT

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Welcome to another ESL lesson! Ready to improve your English skills? Today, let’s read about relative clauses and learn how to use who, which, and that. These little words will help you give more information about a person, thing, or idea in a sentence. By the end of this post, you’ll be creating sentences like a pro!

What are Relative Clauses?

Relative clauses are small parts of a sentence that give extra information about a noun. They make your sentences more interesting and provide important details. For example:

  • “The boy who won the race is my friend.”
  • “I have a car which is very fast.”
  • “I know the book that you recommended.”

In each of these sentences, the relative clause adds useful information to the noun (boy, car, book).

Using Who, Which, and That:


Who is used for people.


  • “The teacher who helped me is very kind.”
  • “The doctor who treated me was very helpful.”


Which is used for things (objects, animals, ideas).


  • “The movie which I watched yesterday was amazing.”
  • “The cat which lives next door is very friendly.”


That can be used for both people and things.


  • “The man that works here is my neighbor.”
  • “The book that I read was very interesting.”

Essential vs. Non-Essential Clauses:

There are two types of relative clauses: essential and non-essential.

1. Essential Clauses:

Essential clauses give important information. Without them, the sentence wouldn’t make sense.


  • “The man who stole my wallet has been caught.”
  • “The car that broke down was very old.”

2. Non-Essential Clauses:

Non-essential clauses add extra details but are not necessary for understanding the main point of the sentence. These clauses are set off by commas.


  • “My cousin, who lives in London, is coming to visit.”
  • “My new watch, which I bought online, is broken.”

Practice Time!

Let’s practice making sentences using who, which, and that:

1. Complete the sentences using the correct relative pronoun (who, which, or that).

a. The cake _______ she baked was delicious.

b. The person _______ called you yesterday is my friend.

c. I have a laptop _______ needs repair.

d. The artist _______ painted this picture is very talented.

2. Now, make your own sentences with each relative pronoun.

a. Sentence using who:

  • “___________________________.”

b. Sentence using which:

  • “___________________________.”

c. Sentence using that:

  • “___________________________.”

Also Learn: Relative Pronouns (Who, Whom, Which, Why)

Relative Clauses with WHO, WHICH and THAT

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