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