Stage 1: Present examples 

Write these sentences on the board and underline as shown. Ask: ‘What do you notice about the underlined parts of the sentences?’ 

  • The bus which goes to Lagos leaves from here. 
  • The man who lives there is my teacher. 
  • The team that he plays for were champions last year. 
  • That’s the boy whose father plays for Cameroon. 

To help learners, circle the subject of each sentence and ask more focused questions such as:  

  • What does the word ‘which’ refer to in the first sentence?  
  • What does the word ‘who’ refer to in the second sentence? 

Use L1 if necessary.  

Stage 2: Take feedback 

Ask learners to share their feedback on what they noticed in the examples. Here are some key points you might want to share with them. 

Relative pronouns introduce more information about the sentence subject, e.g. in sentence a, we learn more about the bus, and in sentence c about the team.  

‘Which’ and ‘that’ both refer to things, i.e. the bus, the team. 

‘Who’ refers to a person. 

‘That’ is more common when speaking than ‘which’. 

‘Whose’ can refer to people or things and is often about possession

Stage 3: Use the grammar 

What’s the pronoun? 

Write the following sentences on the board and say: ‘Complete each sentence with the correct pronoun.’ 

Football is a game ________ is played all around the world. 

She’s the girl ________ sister is in my class at school. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the player ________ has scored the most goals for Gabon. 

She’s a teacher ________ works at my school. 

Plantain is a food ________ is common in African cooking. 

He’s the man ________ dog bit me!   


Instead of writing the sentences on the board, read them out and where there is a blank say: ‘Beep.’ 

Then put your class into two teams and say: ‘Write five sentences with who, that, which or whose.’ Set a time limit. Monitor and help where necessary. 

Then say: ‘Team A read a sentence, but say “beep” and not the relative pronoun. Team B guess the pronoun.’  

Get teams to take turns. Teams get a point for a correct sentence and a point if they correctly guess the pronoun.    

Right or wrong? 

Write a few sentences on the board. Some are correct and some are incorrect (in terms of the relative pronoun). For example:   

  • That’s the girl which I go to school with. 
  • Aminata is the student who speaks the best English. 
  • TP Mezembe are a football team whose play their home games in Lubambashi. 
  • George Weah is a footballer who used to play for AC Milan in Italy. 
  • That’s the bus which we take when we go to market. 

Say: ‘Look at the relative pronouns in the sentences. Which are right and which are wrong? Correct the wrong ones.’


Feedback: Information about how or how well a learner has done something. 

L1: The language learned from birth (= mother tongue). 

Monitor: The way a teacher watches to see how well an individual, group or class is doing a particular task. 

Possession: Ownership, the person something belongs to. 

Refer to: Related/joined/linked/connected to. 

Subject: The part of the sentence which is ‘doing’ the verb. For example, in the sentence The girl kicked the ball, ‘the girl’ is the subject.