Spanish Grammar Guide

Relative Pronouns (e.g.: que, quien, los cuales, lo que, donde, cuando, etc.)

Questions about Relative Pronouns

Q: Why is it la mujer que trabaja allí and NOT la mujerquien trabaja allí?

When the relative pronoun directly follows the person it refers to you should use que and not quien. You can use quien if there is a comma or a preposition separating the noun from the relative pronoun.

Q: Why is it always Quiero el libro que sacaste de la biblioteca and NOT Quiero el libro sacaste de la biblioteca?

Remember that in English you can eliminate the relative pronoun and still produce a grammatical phrase, e.g.: "I want the book (that) you took out of the library." This is NOT the case in Spanish. You MUST include the relative pronoun in Spanish.

Q: Why is it Esos hombres, quienes no conozco, quieren hablar con el jefe and NOT Esos hombres, quien no conozco, quieren hablar con el jefe?

The relative pronoun quien(es) must agree in number with the noun it refers back to.

Q: Why is it ¿Por qué no vamos a la playa, cerca de la cual hay un restaurante muy bueno, para tomar el sol? and NOT ¿Por qué no vamos a la playa, cerca del cual hay un restaurante muy bueno, para tomar el sol?

Remember the article of the relative pronoun el cual must agree in gender and number with the noun it refers back to, in this case la playa.

Q: Why is it No le cae bien el joven que vive al lado and NOT No le cae bien el joven qué vive al lado?

The same words are used as relative pronouns and as question/exclamation words except that the latter appear with accents. Do NOT use accents on relative pronouns.

Spanish Grammar Guide » Pronouns
 
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