De-mystifying relative pronouns

Grammar is always a headache to (some) writers. Some time back I brought up concerns about punctuation, misspellings, subject-verb agreement at my “Grammar, punctuation and spelling – Do they really matter?” In a more recent post “Writers’ questions answered” I mentioned issues relating to homonyms and other confusing words.

Today I’ll refer to pronouns; relative pronouns in particular. The use of relative pronouns may appear obvious; but quite confusing sometimes. Believe me. How often do we face a dilemma when we have to choose between “that” and “which”? Or “that’ and “who”? If in some cases the use of both may be correct, in others we are left with only one choice. What do we do in such case?

There’s no need to worry. We always have someone somewhere with some tips. Like at “Grammar ‘n Style” Vicki McCollum, columnist, freelance writer, and visual artist, tells us more about relative pronouns and helps us understand when and how to use these pronouns correctly.

To your writing.

A retired government officer, former trade unionist and occupational safety & health management consultant based in Rodrigues Islands, Alfa King (real name: Amanoola Khayrattee) is a bilingual contributor to This Week News ( He has been editor of trade union newsletter and has contributed articles for various in-house magazines, publications, and the local press. He blogs since 2007, and when he is not reading or surfing on the internet, he is hiking over an 8-km-daily routine.
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