Explanations » A2 Grammar Explanations » Defining relative clauses – who, which, that, where

Defining relative clauses

We use defining relative clauses to specify which person, thing or place we are talking about.

Defining relative clauses

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Who, which, where

We use who for people.

  • He met the police officer who saved his life.

We use which for things and animals.

  • He put on the suit which he wore for special occasions.

We use where for places.

  • This is the hotel where we spent our honeymoon.


We can use that instead of who or which. But we often use who for people and which/that for things.

  • He’s the neighbour who/that helped us to move out.
  • Change the cable which/that connects the computer to the printer.

Be careful with these common mistakes!

We cannot use what or an expression like that he/she/etc. instead of that, who, etc..

  • That’s the student what I told you about. blank
  • That’s the student that/who I told you about. blank
  • That’s the man he tried to steal my wallet. blank
  • That’s the man that/who tried to steal my wallet. blank