Relative pronouns can be translated as ‘who’, 'whom', ‘which’, ‘that’ or 'whose'.
In German, you use the definite article, although the genitive singular and dative plural are different.
You use relative pronouns to link two sentences together.
To use these pronouns correctly, you must know the right gender of the word.
A good way of working out how to use relative pronouns correctly is to cut the sentence up like this:
The phone (I bought 'it' = accusative) was expensive.
The phrase 'I bought it' > 'that I bought' is in the accusative, so the accusative form of the relative pronoun is needed.
What do these sentences mean?
Now link these sentences with a suitable relative pronoun. What do they mean?
|Das Spiel, das ich sehen werde, beginnt um 19 Uhr.||The match, which I will watch, starts at 19.00.||Accusative: ‘which I will watch’ – I will watch ‘it’|
|Die Schule, deren Schüler gute Noten haben, hat einen guten Ruf.||The school, whose pupils have good grades, has a good reputation.||Genitive: ‘whose’ – the school’s pupils/the pupils of the school|
|Die Musik, die man herunterladet, ist einfach zu speichern.||The music that you download is easy to save.||Nominative: ‘that’ - ‘it (literally: she = Musik) is easy to save’.|
|Mein Freund, mit dem ich wandern gehe, heißt Thomas.||My friend, with whom I am going hiking, is called Thomas.||Dative: ‘with whom’ – I am going with him – mit is a dative preposition.|