Diapositiva1When we speak Spanish we are all the time using relative sentences (a combination of two sentences that share a common noun. One of the sentences gives more information, modifies or specifies the noun in common).

Last week we started to explain you relative sentences in Spanish and today we will continue to explain you other relative pronouns such as “quien/el que/ la que/ los que/las que”.

The relative pronoun “quien” is used only to refer to people. There is no genre distinction but it  has a plural form: “quienes”. It’s important to notice that when the relative pronoun refers to a person as the object in the relative clause, you can use either “que” or “quien” and both are correct, but when the relative is followed by a preposition we can only use “quien” and not “que”. Let’s take a look at these examples:

– Mi tía Paula, que/quien vive en París, viene a Madrid el próximo sábado (My aunt Paula, who lives in Paris, is coming to Madrid next Saturday).

– Ese hombre, con quien me viste hablar, es mi jefe (That man, with whom you saw me talking, is my boss).

– Luis, a quien entregué el paquete, es el primo de Manuela (Luis, whom I handed the packet, is Manuela’s cousin).

The relative pronouns “el que/la que/los que/las que”  are used to refer to both people and things and are translated in English by “the one who/that”. We can use “el cual, la cual, los cuales and las cuales” instead of “el que…” but those are not used in everyday conversation but for written Spanish or a formal speaking. Let’s see some examples:

– El vestido rojo, el que te regaló mi madre, está guardado en el armario (The red dress, the one that my mother gave you, is in the closet).

Notice that when the relative pronoun refers to an abstract idea, we have to use “lo que“:

Lo que quieres de ella es imposible, es una mala persona (What you want from her is impossible, she is a mean person).

– No entiendo lo que está escrito en el cuaderno (I don’t understand what is written in the notebook).

Don’t be afraid of relative sentences. We could help you in our Spanish clases on Skype. Try our free trial class!!