Exercises on Relative Pronoun

This post contains exercises on relative pronoun (who, whom, whose, which, and that). To understand concepts covered in these exercises, refer to what’s relative pronoun and how it’s used.

Pick the best relative pronoun

In the first three exercises, identify the relative pronoun that would fit best in each sentence?

Exercise 1

Relative pronouns that and which are sometimes confused with each other as both refer to animals and things. In the first exercise, pick that or which for each of the five questions. (Whereas that is mostly used with restrictive relative clause, which is mostly used with non-restrictive relative clause.)

1. She may be assigned the project _____ she worked on last year.

2. Greenhouse gases, _____ originate mainly from human activities such as transportation, electricity, and industry, are warming our planet to a dangerous level.

3. The heart _____ loves is always young.

4. Don’t fear the enemy _____ attacks you, but the fake friend _____ hugs you.

5. An assignment without a careful review may contain silly mistakes, _____ will lower your marks.

Answers to Exercise 1

1. That

2. Which

3. That

4. That/That

5. Which

You could’ve also guessed the answers easily through presence of comma. A non-restrictive clause is accompanied by a pair of commas (or one comma if the relative clause ends the sentence). In other words, comma would signal which.

Exercise 2

1. A person _____ depends on others for financial or other assistance cannot offend them by speaking impolitely.

2. People can do things in love _____ may look madness.

3. When taking up a task _____ has no playbook to follow, we plan a lot and think a lot but don’t act.

4. The club fired the coach, _____ fate was as sealed after the team’s early exit from the tournament.

5. The lioness _____ leg was injured in a trap recovered fully.

Answers to Exercise 2

1. Who

2. That

3. That

4. Whose

5. Whose

Exercise 3

1. We started out with building a product for masses and then we diverted to a niche product _____ is more likely to work.

2. There is glut of smartphone brands in the market, most of _____ are good.

3. Anyone _____ speaks the language can teach the language.

4. The missing boy for _____ advertisements were run on TV was eventually found by the police.

5. Scientists are studying people _____ immunity hasn’t gone down against Corona virus a year after the infection.

Answers to Exercise 3

1. That

2. Which (this is an example of quantifier + of + relative pronoun). Refer to the relative pronoun post linked earlier for more on this and the fourth answer.

3. Who

4. Whom (this is an example of preposition + relative pronoun)

5. Whose

Can relative pronoun be dropped?

In the third exercise, do the following:

  • Identify relative pronouns. Hint: But for fifth, others have exactly one relative pronoun.
  • Identify if relative pronoun can be dropped. Note that a relative pronoun can be dropped if it is not the subject of the relative clause and the clause itself is restrictive. If you’re unfamiliar with the topic, you can learn it in the relative pronoun post linked to earlier.

Exercise 4

1. She may be assigned the project that she worked on last year.

2. John, who is our neighbor, wants to become a writer.

3. He is a person whom you can disagree with, and he won’t mind.

4. The gemstone which was found in the Musgrave Ranges of Australia was valued at nearly $35,000 per carat.

5. A candidate’s connections to Black public figures signals empathy for a racial group that is often overlooked and whose leaders are often kept at arm’s length in competitive races. The Washington Post

Answers to Exercise 4

1. That

It can be dropped as both conditions are met.

2. Who

It can’t be dropped. Both conditions fail here.

3. Whom

It can be dropped as both conditions are met.

4. Which

It can’t be dropped as which is subject of the relative clause which was found in the Musgrave Ranges of Australia. One condition fails here.

5. That/Whose

That can’t be dropped as it’s the subject of the relative clause that is often overlooked. One condition fails here.

Whose can’t be dropped as it’s part of the subject (whose leaders is the subject) of the relative clause whose leaders are often kept at arm’s length in competitive races.

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