Relative Possessive Pronoun:7 Important Facts You Should Know


In this article readers will get adequate knowledge on relative possessive pronoun through detailed discussion.

A relative pronoun is one type of pronoun that is used to introduce relative clauses. It is used to join two simple sentences to form a complex sentence. It also makes relation with the antecedent i.e. a noun or a pronoun. But a possessive pronoun is a pronoun that expresses possession or ownership of something.

There are some relative pronouns that are also used as possessive pronouns. The relative pronouns include which, that, who, whom, whose, whoever, whomever etc. In some cases what, when and where can work as relative pronouns.

  • Examples;1. The boy whose phone just rang should go out of the room.
  • 2. The chair, of which legs are wooden, is very expensive.
  • 3. This is the man whose father died last year.
  • 4. The baby whose dolls are broken is crying loudly.
  • 5. This is the house of which pillars are made of strong bricks and stones.

Detailed explanations of the above examples;

1.The boy whose phone just rang should go out of the room.

Explanation- In the example ‘whose’ is a possessive pronoun. It is used to connect two simple sentences into one complex sentence. The relative pronoun here acts as a possessive pronoun because it indicates possession of the noun ‘boy’.

2.The chair on which legs are wooden is very expensive.

Explanation- The above example shows the relationship with the use of the pronoun ‘which’. But here ‘on which’ establishes possession of the chair. So it is a possessive pronoun.

3.This is the man whose father died last year.

Explanation- In the example ‘whose’ ,a relative pronoun indicates possession of the man. So it is a possessive pronoun.

4.The baby whose dolls are broken is crying.

Explanation- In the example the relative pronoun ‘whose’ is used to show the ownership of the baby. Though it is a relative pronoun it acts here as a possessive pronoun.

5.This is the house of which pillars are made of strong bricks and stones.

Explanation-In this example ‘of which’ is used to relate two simple sentences to make a single sentence. It indicates possession of the noun house. So it is called a possessive pronoun.

relative possessive pronoun
Relative possessive pronoun

Can relative pronouns be possessive pronouns?

Relative pronouns are used for joining simple sentences into complex sentence. But relative pronouns can also work as possessive pronouns. Besides making relations with other part of the sentence relative pronouns express possession or ownership of something. It is certain that relative pronouns can be possessive.

Ex- My brother has dog whose colour is black.

Explanation- In this example the relative pronoun ‘whose’ acts as a possessive pronoun. This relative pronoun joins two simple sentences ‘my brother has a dog.’ and ‘Its color is black.’ But here ‘whose’ shows the possession of the ‘dog’ and acts as a possessive pronoun.

How are relative pronouns acting as possessive pronouns?

Relative pronouns are actually used to join sentences. They make a relationship with the antecedent i.e. the noun or the pronoun that it modifies. Besides, relative pronouns act as a possessive pronoun also. When the relative pronouns establish relationship or ownership of the persons or things they are in the possessive pronouns.

Ex-Do you know the girl whose bi-cycle was stolen last night?

Explanation– In this example the relative pronoun ‘whose’ is used here as a possessive pronoun. It establishes the ownership of the girl.

When are relative pronouns acting as possessive pronouns?

When the relative pronouns indicate the possession, ownership of the people, animals or things they act as possessive pronouns. Most of the relative pronouns are used to join the sentences to make complex sentences. But some among them show the possession also. These relative pronouns are used as possessive pronouns.

Ex- The woman whose husband is an engineer is very proud.

Explanation- In this above example the relative pronoun ‘whose’ is used to join two sentences to make a complex sentence. Besides it acts as a possessive pronoun also because it expresses the ownership of the woman.

What are the relative possessive pronouns?

The most common relative pronouns are which, that, whose, who, whoever, whom, whomever. In some cases what, when and where are used as relative pronouns. Among these relative pronouns whose and which (when of is used before) have the functions of possessive pronouns.

Relative pronouns can join the sentences and establish relationship with the previous antecedents i.e. nouns or pronouns. Besides they also act as possessive pronouns.

Ex-The children whose names are announced will get the prizes serially.

Explanation- Here the relative pronoun ‘whose’ is used to establish the relationship of the children. For this ‘whose’ is called a possessive pronoun.

Why ‘whose’ is related to a possessive pronoun?

We usually use in a sentence as a relative pronoun to join two simple sentences to make a complex one. This relative pronoun indicates possession by people, animals and things. In more formal styles we can use ‘whose’ for things also. We use it after the noun or pronoun that is the antecedent to make relation with the other part of the sentence. We use it instead of the possessive pronouns my, your, his, her, it, our, their etc.

Ex-My friend is going to marry a girl whose parents do not seem to like him.

Explanation-In this example ‘whose’ is a relative pronoun that is used here as a possessive pronoun. It shows the ownership of the girl. As this expresses the possession it is called a possessive pronoun.

Difference between relative pronouns and possessive pronouns.

The name ‘relative’ indicates relation. We naturally use relative pronouns to relate two different clauses with one another. It might be used to introduce something to make connection with the rest of the sentence. But the word ‘possessive’ indicates possessing something or what belongs to someone. We can also use them to talk about people possessing things and we also use them to refer to animals or even objects in some cases.

Ex- 1. In the garden there are many flowers which smell delicious.

2.The book of which pages are yellow is very old.

Explanation- The above examples show the difference between relative pronoun and possessive pronoun. In the first example ‘which’ is a relative pronoun because it is used to relate the two sentences and makes a complex sentence. But in the second example ‘of which’ indicates possession of the book. It refers to the ownership of something. So it is called possessive pronoun.

Conclusion

The article gives detailed discussion on how relative pronouns are used as possessive pronouns. The readers will surely get sound knowledge on the topic through examples and explanations. It is kept in mind that collocation should be maintained while using relative pronouns as possessive pronouns.

Goutam Datta

Hi.... I am Goutam Datta. I have completed a double M. A. in English and B. Ed. I am a creative writer. Currently, I am a part of the LambdaGeeks. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/goutam-datta-9824b5249

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