IV. Relative pronouns

  1. The most common relative pronouns are che, cui, and il quale. They all mean “who,” “whom,” “which,” or “that,” and are used in different ways according to context.

NOTE: Il quale has four forms (il quale, la quale, i quali, le quali). Since il quale and the three other forms agree in gender and number with the antecedent to which they refer, they are used in place of che when needing to avoid ambiguity.

Ex. Il fratello di Maria, il quale è artista, se ne va con Luigi. (Maria’s brother, who is an artist, is leaving with Luigi.) If we were to use che here — Il fratello di Maria, che è artista…– we cannot tell if the artist is Maria or her brother. “Il quale” is more specific, and tells us that is the brother who is the artist.

  1. The relative pronoun “what” meaning “that which” is expressed by quel chequello che or ciò che.
    1. Avete quel che cerco? – Do you have what I am looking for? (Do you have that which I am looking for?)
  2. The relative pronoun chi means “he who,” “him who,” “the one who,” “whoever,” or “anyone who.” This is often used in proverbs, as in “Chi cerca trova.” – “Seek and you shall find.” (Literally, “He who seeks finds.”)
  3. The relative pronoun “whose” is usually expressed by il cui (la cui, i cui, le cui).
    1. È il signore la cui figlia ama Franco. – He is the gentleman whose daughter loves Franco.

VOCABULARY

accoppiare
to couple, unite
*conoscere
to know
cugino
cousin
divenuto
become (past part. of the verb divenire)
sperimentare
to experience
fratellanza
brotherhood, fraternity
furberia
cunning
*insieme
together
paura
fear
piacere
(v.) to please; (noun, m.sing.) pleasure
*piano (adv.)
slowly
*quello (adj.)
that
sano
healthy
squisito
exquisite
*stesso
very (adj.); same; (one’s self)

 

Last revised on February 6, 2018.