Some of our students are pretty afraid of relative sentences in Spanish and we always encourage them because in Spanish most of the sentences that we use in our daily life are a combination of two sentences that share a common noun (one of the sentences gives more information, modifies or specifies the noun in common).
Let’s take a look at these sentences:
– Raquel, ¿has visto a ese niño? (Raquel, have you seen that boy?)
– El niño está pintando mi coche (The boy is painting my car)
– Raquel, ¿has visto a ese niño que está pintando mi coche? (Raquel, have you seen the boy that is painting my car?)
The common noun is “ese niño” and the second sentence specifies what boy I am talking about.
Here you have another one:
– El sábado me visitó mi médico con su sobrina Manuela (Last saturday mi doctor visited me with his niece Manuela).
– Manuela también es médica (Manuela is also a doctor).
– Ayer me visitó mi médico con su sobrina Manuela, que también es médica (Last saturday mi doctor visited me with his niece Manuela, who is also a doctor).
The common noun is “niece” and the second sentence adds more information about that person, Manuela.
In Spanish we use a lot the relative pronoun QUE (pronouns are words that refer to a noun and relative pronouns are called “relative” because they are “related” to a noun that has previously been stated).
“Que” can be translated in English by “who”, “whom”, “which” and “that”.
Take a look at these examples:
1. The relative pronoun “que” is referred to a person (subject):
– Mi cantante favorito, que es italiano, se acaba de casar (My favorite singer, who is Italian, just got married).
2. The relative pronoun “que” is referred to a thing (object of the relative clause):
– El libro que leí el mes pasado me gustó mucho (I really liked the book (that) I read last month).
Remember that in English the relative pronoun is sometimes omitted (The book (that) you borrowed is mine), but it is always required in Spanish (El libro que pediste prestado es mío) .
Don’t be afraid of relative sentences because they are very easy. You just need to practice more and more Spanish!
Here you have two different sentences that you need to connect:
– Álvaro tiene un hermano (Álvaro has a brother).
– Su hermano es periodista (His brother is a journalist).
How would you write a relative sentence in Spanish with these two short sentences?
We would love to receive your answers…