Quick Tips for Using Compound Relative Pronouns

Hey there! Imagine you’re a detective trying to solve a mystery, but instead of looking for clues, you’re figuring out words in sentences. Just like a magnifying glass helps a detective, knowing about pronouns can help you become a super writer or speaker. Today, we’re going to learn about a special group of words called compound relative pronouns.

Just like relative pronouns, compound relative pronouns are special tools that help us connect sentences or ideas smoothly, just like a bridge connects two sides of a river.

First, let’s break it down. Pronouns are words we use instead of nouns, so we don’t have to keep repeating the same names or things.

Compound relative pronouns are words like whoever, whichever, whatever and whosever. They do two jobs: they refer to someone or something and also link parts of a sentence together.

Types of Compound Relative Pronouns?

Compound relative pronouns have a few types, which include:

Whoever (or whosoever)

We use this when talking about people. It can be about doing something (that’s called nominative) or having something done to them (that’s called objective).

♦ Whoever finishes their homework can play video games.

When we use whoever, we can talk about someone who is both doing something and having something done to them.

♦ Whoever calls must be admitted.

The person calling is the same person who needs to be let in. Use whoever when the person is doing the action.

It’s pretty cool we can talk about people in a way where they can be active or passive in the same sentence.

Whichever (or whichsoever)

Use this when you’re talking about choosing between things.

♦ You can sit in whichever chair you like.

We use of whichever just like whose.

♦ I don’t know the owner of whichever car is parked outside.

Whatever (or whatsoever)

This one is used when you’re talking about things or situations. You might say:

♦ You can draw whatever you like.

Whatever doesn’t change form, so whatever is used the same way, whether you’re talking about who is doing something or having something done to them.

Whosever (or whosesoever)

We don’t really say this much, but it’s like saying whose with ever on the end. If we need to show something belongs to someone, we usually say of whoever.

♦ I found the notebook of whoever left it here.

These words are super handy in lots of different sentences, and knowing how to use them will make you great at describing all kinds of people, places, and things!

All by Themselves

Sometimes when we use words like whoever, whomever, whatever, and whichever we don’t need to mention who or what we’re talking about—it’s like a magic trick where the word does the job all by itself!

Let’s see how this works:
Whoever: This word can stand on its own to talk about any person.
Whomever: We use this when we’re not worrying about who might be upset or affected.
Whatever: This one talks about things or actions without naming them.
Whichever: This is about choices, and we don’t need to list the options.

As Adjectives

Which, what, whichever, and whatever are often used as adjectives.

♦ Use whatever powers you have.
♦ Whichever plan you adopt, you have my best wishes.

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Exercises for Using Compound Relative Pronouns

Can you add the correct compound personal pronouns to these sentences?

  1. ________ gets the highest score will win the game.
  2. ________ book you choose, make sure it is interesting.
  3. ________ happens, we need to stay calm.
  4. I will support ________ you decide to elect.
  5. ________ ingredients you need, I can buy them.
  6. You can sit ________ you like in the cafeteria.
  7. She will eat ________ she finds in the fridge.
  8. ________ the committee selects deserves the award.
  9. Take ________ coat is warmer for the winter night.
  10. ________ volunteers for the task should be ready by noon.
  11. ________ route you take, be careful.
  12. He can borrow ________ tool he needs for the job.
  13. I will listen to ________ I believe is telling the truth.
  14. ________ you decide to do, I’m behind you 100%.
  15. ________ teams play in the finals, it will be an exciting match.
  16. You can choose ________ topic you want for your project.
  17. Ask ________ you think can help us solve this problem.
  18. Choose ________ colour you prefer for your room.
  19. She can stay at ________ hotel she likes.
  20. ________ you invite, make sure they are friendly.
Click on the + button for the answers
  1. Whoever gets the highest score will win the game.
  2. Whichever book you choose, make sure it is interesting.
  3. Whatever happens, we need to stay calm.
  4. I will support whomever you decide to elect.
  5. Whatever ingredients you need, I can buy them.
  6. You can sit wherever you like in the cafeteria.
  7. She will eat whatever she finds in the fridge.
  8. Whomever the committee selects deserves the award.
  9. Take whichever coat is warmer for the winter night.
  10. Whoever volunteers for the task should be ready by noon.
  11. Whichever route you take, be careful.
  12. He can borrow whatever tool he needs for the job.
  13. I will listen to whomever I believe is telling the truth.
  14. Whatever you decide to do, I’m behind you 100%.
  15. Whichever teams play in the finals, it will be an exciting match.
  16. You can choose whatever topic you want for your project.
  17. Ask whomever you think can help us solve this problem.
  18. Choose whichever color you prefer for your room.
  19. She can stay at whatever hotel she likes.
  20. Whomever you invite, make sure they are friendly.

Tips for Using Compound Relative Pronouns

1. Choose the Right Form: Figure out ‘whoever’ and ‘whomever’ by seeing if the pronoun is the subject or object of the verb in its clause.
2. Use as Subjects: Keep in mind that ‘whoever’ and ‘whatever’ can act as the subjects of their clauses, which makes sentences smooth and concise.
3. Use as Objects: ‘Whomever’ and ‘whichever’ can be used as objects in their clauses, perfect for when the action of the sentence is being done to them.
4. Editing Eye: When you edit, keep an eye out for chances to use compound relative pronouns instead of complicated or awkward phrasing.

5. Emphasize Flexibility: You can use ‘whatever’ and ‘whichever’ to talk about a wide range of things, making your statements more flexible.
6. Guidance on Formality: Keep in mind that using these pronouns can make your writing sound more formal, so use them strategically.
7. Keep It Clear: Ensure that the pronoun’s reference is clear to avoid confusing your readers.
8. Understand Their Function: Compound relative pronouns (like whoever, whomever, whichever, whatever) mix a pronoun and a relative clause, so they can be their own sentences.
9. Context Matters: Compound relative pronouns are useful for emphasizing or introducing clauses that provide extra information about a subject, object, or possession that is not specified.
10. Mix It Up: Use compound relative pronouns to vary sentence structure and make your writing more dynamic.

Last Words on Compound Relative Pronouns

Just like any tool in a toolbox, compound relative pronouns, ‘whoever,’ ‘whomever,’ ‘whichever,’ and ‘whatever’ are handy to have in your language toolkit. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at using them.

Happy writing!

Linda

 

Feature Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

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