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Relative Pronoun

What are Relative Pronouns in Spanish?

El que, la que, los que, las que, lo que: relative pronouns

Note: The relative pronouns: (el que, la que, los que, las que, lo que) are used to refer to both people and things. Note that there are four forms to accommodate singular and plural, masculine and feminine.

e.g.

Mi amigo, el que es profesor de la universidad. - My friend, who is a professor at the university.

Tus zapatos, los que te compró tu mamá. - Your shoes, the ones your mom bought you.

La cama, la que vimos en la mueblería. - The bed, the one we saw in the furniture store

Las enfermeras, las que estaban de guardia en el hospital. - The nurses, the ones who were on duty at the hospital.


Another set of relative pronouns can be used in place of "el que, la que, los que, and las que". These are not commonly used in everyday conversation, and are generally reserved for written Spanish or formal oratory:

el cual
la cual
los cuales
las cuales


e.g.

Mi amigo, el cual es profesor de la universidad. - My friend, who is a professor at the university.

Tus zapatos, los cuales te compró tu mamá. - Your shoes, the ones your mom bought you
.

La cama, la cual vimos en la mueblería. - The bed, the one we saw in the furniture store

Las enfermeras, las cuales estaban de guardia en el hospital. - The nurses, the ones who were on duty at the hospital.

 

Note: When the relative pronoun refers to an abstract idea, use “lo que”

e.g.

Lo que tú dices que hay, se acabó. - What you say there is, it's over.

Lo que hiciste, no es lo correcto - What you did, it's not right.

Lo que un día fue, ya no será - What one day was, will no longer be.

 


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