Summary: The use and omission of relative pronouns in relatives clauses
By: Richard Flynn |Audience: All|Category: English Grammar Usage Articles & Notes
To show possession, we use whose for both people and things:
- The man whose car was stolen wasn't insured.
- The house whose basement was flooded is being repaired.
In the following examples, the man is the subject of both verbs and cannot be omitted:
- The man who told me is coming later.
- The man that told me is coming later.
In the following examples, the woman is the object of the verb 'saw' and, therefore the pronoun can be omitted:
- The woman who I saw is coming later.
- The woman whom I saw is coming later.
- The woman that I saw is coming later.
- The woman I saw is coming later.
NB - WHOM is an object pronoun. It is used in formal English after a preposition and can be used to replace an object,although many no longer do this. In a phrase like 'To whom it may concern', who would not be acceptable.