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Who, whom, whose and that are usually used as relative pronouns referring to people in modern English:
The man who/that came looked very old.

However, there is at least one instance in which the pronoun has to be which. I wonder if anyone can come up with the grammatical situation where which is used as a relative to refer to a person or persons.

Cheers
CB
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Hi,

Who, whom, whose and that are usually used as relative pronouns referring to people in modern English:
The man who/that came looked very old.

However, there is at least one instance in which the pronoun has to be which. I wonder if anyone can come up with the grammatical situation where which is used as a relative to refer to a person or persons.


Hmmm. I guess you wouldn't accept archaic English, eg King James Bible, Book of Luke - He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock

How about It is man which is the most dangerous animal of all? No?

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Nona The Brit & Clive

Thanks for your replies. First of all I must say that something has gone wrong with my computer software: my e-mail client tells shows me your new posts but when I click the URL, I am taken to a screen telling me that the site I requested does not exist! OK, so I open EF the normal way and Nona The Brit's post, the one I tried to access first, has mysteriously disappeared completely.

But to the point now. Please note that I wrote: "... the pronoun has to be which." In other words, that and who are wrong. NTB's sentence could easily be modified a little to enable a comma and would thus meet the requirements. Congratulations. However, that's not what I had in mind. A group need not consist of people, although in NTB's sentence it of course does. What I have in mind is a sentence in which the actual antecedent is a word like a boy or boys, a girl or girls. Or people, if you like that better.

Clive: You are right, I don't call archaic English modern English. In your second sentence which can be replaced with that, in many people's opinion it should be replaced with that.

Cheers
CB
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There is nothing wrong with your computer CB, I just decided that my example didn't work after all and deleted it.
Cool BreezeWho, whom, whose and that are usually used as relative pronouns referring to people in modern English:
The man who/that came looked very old.

However, there is at least one instance in which the pronoun has to be which. I wonder if anyone can come up with the grammatical situation where which is used as a relative to refer to a person or persons.

Cheers
CB
If the antecedent is repeated after the relative pronoun, which must be used:

He wanted to talk to the boys, which boys he felt had done him wrong.

I am not at all sure there are cases where one has to repeat the antecedent and it probably isn't very good style in many people's opinion. Be it good or bad English, I came across this example in a grammar book written by wise men ages ago and so can't remember their names.

Cheers
CB
Wouldn't this be a case of a pro-adjective rather than of a pro-noun? Emotion: smile

For a pronoun, how about,

He wanted to talk to the boys, the which he felt had done him wrong.

Is that grammatical?

CJ
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CalifJimWouldn't this be a case of a pro-adjective rather than of a pro-noun? Emotion: smile

For a pronoun, how about,

He wanted to talk to the boys, the which he felt had done him wrong.

Is that grammatical?

CJ
Hi CJ

It seems that the British aren't the only English-speaking people who have a sense of humor. You have my permission to call it a pro-adjective if you wish. Emotion: smile

I am positive you know the truth about the which without my saying it. Although English is flexible, you can't tie it in a knot.

Cheers
CB
Maybe it is a pro-adjective rather than pronoun but just wondering if these are examples or not.

Which player was selected for the national team?

It was the no. 10 which was selected as a reserve.

Which one in the family looks most like his father?

His father says that it is his eldest son which looks most like him.
Alan.esMaybe it is a pro-adjective rather than pronoun but just wondering if these are examples or not. Which player was selected for the national team? It was the no. 10 which was selected as a reserve. Which one in the family looks most like his father? His father says that it is his eldest son which looks most like him.
Which may refer to people when it is an interrogative pronoun, in other words it is used in questions. However, to use it as a relative pronoun the way you have done is ungrammatical. That is normally used in structures like the following:

It was Bob that broke the window.

By the way, in Old English there was only one relative pronoun, that, and it was uninflected. That caused problems because another word often had to be used with it. So people began to use interrogative which and whoas relatives as well. This is a good example of the fact that when changes occur in a language, they don't always simplify the language. Language can take care of itself, we need not worry about that.Emotion: smile

Cheers
CB
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