Relative Determiners

Relative determiners modify nouns within a relative clause. Follow the article to learn more about them.

Intermediate
Relative Determiners in the English Grammar

What Are Relative Determiners?

Relative determiners are used before nouns to connect the relative clause to an independent clause.
The relative clause introduced by a relative determiner is nominal.

What are Relative Determiners Used for?

  1. Relative determiners connect a dependent clause to the main clause.
  2. Relative determiners and the nominal relative clause they introduce act as an object or a subject for the independent/main clause.

What are Relative Determiners' Position?

using the relative determiner 'what' in a sentence

  1. Relative determiners head a nominal relative clause.
  2. Relative determiners are always followed by a noun/noun phrase.

Here is the list of relative determiners with examples:

  • What/Whatever

What book to buy doesn't matter.

'What book to buy' is a subject for 'doesn't matter.' 'What' is used before 'book.'

  • Which/Whichever

I don't know which book you bought.

'Which book you bought' is an object for 'know'. 'Which' is used before a noun.

  • Possessive Relative Determiner 'Whose'

Relative determiner 'whose' shows possession.

I don't know whose book you have.

'Whose' heads the nominal relative clause 'whose book you have.'

Tip!

'Whose' is not followed by a noun if it is an interrogative pronoun. Look at an example:

Whose are these?

Review

Relative determiners are used to connect a dependant clause to the main clause. They are used:

  • as the head of a nominal relative clause
  • always followed by a noun/noun phrase

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