Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions, Premium 3rd Edition (2016)

Part I. PRONOUNS

Chapter 8. Relative pronouns

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A relative pronoun refers to something that has been previously stated or is understood, and thus the pronoun is related to that referent. For that reason, these pronouns are called relative pronouns.

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Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clauses

Before we move forward, it is necessary to understand the concepts of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. A grasp of these concepts will facilitate your work with relative pronouns in this chapter.

Restrictive clause

A restrictive clause contains information that is essential to the meaning of the sentence. In other words, it restricts the meaning of the word or words to which it refers. If this clause were removed, the sentence would change meaning or it would become meaningless or ridiculous.

A lamp that doesn’t have a bulb is useless.

In this sentence, the dependent clause “that doesn’t have a bulb” is restrictive because it is necessary to the overall meaning of the sentence. If we remove this clause, we are left with the independent clause “A lamp is useless,” which is a grammatically correct sentence, but the essential meaning has changed dramatically and what remains is absurd.

Nonrestrictive clause

A nonrestrictive clause contains information that is usually helpful to the overall meaning of the sentence, but it is not essential. If a nonrestrictive clause were removed, the sentence would stand on its own.

Catswhich sometimes live fifteen years or longermake nice pets.

The dependent clause, “which sometimes live fifteen years or longer,” although informative, does not change the basic meaning of the sentence. The independent clause, “Cats make nice pets,” can easily stand alone as a grammatically correct sentence that retains its original meaning. The dependent clause is not essential for us to understand the sentence, and it could be left out. Because the information contained in a nonrestrictive clause is not necessary to the overall meaning of the sentence, the nonrestrictive clause is usually set off from the main sentence by commas.

Use of que

The relative pronouns “that,” “who,” and “which” in English all translate as que in Spanish. Whereas English relative pronouns distinguish between living (“who”) and nonliving (“that,” “which”) referents, there is no such distinction in Spanish in this context.

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Note that the relative pronoun que sets up both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.

In English, the relative pronoun is sometimes omitted, so that both of the following are correct: “I have the towels you need” and “I have the towels that you need.” In Spanish, however, the relative pronoun cannot be omitted: You must include the Spanish word que.

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Traducción Use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1I have the book that you want. We have the things that you need.

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  2The people who work here are very nice (amable).

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  3The car that I want is red.

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  4I only watch movies that are from Europe.

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  5He believes that this sauce (la salsa) is very hot (picante).

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  6The medicine that I take every morning tastes like (saber a) gasoline.

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  7You have two books that are good and two that are bad.

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  8The painting (la pintura) that you see is by Francisco Goya.

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  9He doesn’t know that I have his wallet (la cartera).

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10Do you know that butter is pure fat (pura grasa)?

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11The man who lives in this house is an actor.

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12They don’t know what they are saying.

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13She is the old woman (la vieja) who lives in a shoe.

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14The cats that have many toes (dedos) live in Key West, Florida.

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15The people who vote believe that they have a lot of power (el poder).

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Use of el cual or el que

When the relative pronouns “which,” “who,” or “whom” introduce a nonrestrictive clause (where the information is not essential to the overall meaning of the sentence), you can use el cual (la cuallos cualeslas cuales) or el que(la quelos quelas que) instead of the simple que.

El cual and el que are interchangeable. They lend a relatively formal tone to sentences, and therefore they are used primarily in writing or in formal speech. The relative pronoun que is used more frequently in conversation. Using the forms el cual and el que also adds greater emphasis to the nonrestrictive clauses they introduce.

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Traducción

  1His wife, who is lovely, speaks four languages (el idioma).

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  2Their dog, which is a poodle (el perro de lana), barks (ladrar) all the time.

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  3Our house, which is one hundred years old, is known (conocido) for the ghosts (el fantasma) that live in the attic (el desván).

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  4My rings (el anillo), which are silver (de plata), are from Taxco, Mexico.

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  5Our books, which are still (todavía) in boxes, are very valuable (valioso).

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  6The landlord (el casero), who also lives in this building (el edificio), is a very strange (extraño) man.

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  7My neighbor’s (el vecino) children, who are noisier (más ruidoso) than an airport (el aeropuerto), are little angels (el angelito) in church.

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  8The poet [f.], who is the mother of two daughters, writes every day (todos los días) at midnight.

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  9The White House, which is popular with tourists, is the home (el hogar) of the president of the United States.

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10These wines, which are from France, are ninety years old.

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11The paragraph, which I have just (acabar de) read, makes no sense (tener sentido).

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12This attitude (la actitud) of apathy (la indiferencia), which I cannot tolerate, is contagious (contagioso).

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Use of PREPOSITION + quien or PREPOSITION + que

When the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, usage follows the pattern PREPOSITION + quien when the referent is a person and PREPOSITION + que when the referent is inanimate. The resulting clause is a restrictive clause (that is, its information is essential to the meaning of the sentence).

The English grammar rule stating that a sentence does not end with a preposition is frequently ignored. In Spanish, however, this rule continues to be honored consistently. The English examples below reflect contemporary usage, with the preposition appearing at the end of the sentences. A sentence giving the Spanish syntax follows in parentheses. Note that in Spanish, in all cases, the preposition appears before the verb in the second clause, not at the end of the sentence.

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Note, however, that the Spanish word a is not always a preposition when it appears before Spanish quien. In the sentences below, it is the personal a, not the preposition a (“to”), that precedes the pronouns quien and quienes.

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Traducción Use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you. The Spanish syntax is given in parentheses after the sentence to be translated.

  1Kitty is the woman I live with. (Kitty is the woman with whom I live.)

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  2Who is the man you live with? (Who is the man with whom you live?)

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  3These are the people he works for (para). (These are the people for whom he works.)

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  4The man on the left is the person I date (salir con). (The man on the left is the person with whom I go out [date].)

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  5Margo is the woman I work for. (Margo is the woman for whom I work.)

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  6Francisco is the man I’m thinking about (pensar en). (Francisco is the man about whom I’m thinking.)

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  7Kim is the woman Roberto and Jesse are angry with (estar enojado/enojada con). (Kim is the woman with whom Roberto and Jesse are angry.)

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  8Bárbara is the person I sympathize with (tener compasión por). (Bárbara is the person with whom I sympathize.)

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  9Ana is the woman I see.

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10Those men are the players I watch.

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Use of lo que

Lo que, meaning “that which,” “what,” or “whatever,” is a neuter relative pronoun that allows you to refer to a great abstraction, as in the sentence “You can have whatever you want.” Lo que can also encompass the entirety of something that is said or done, as in the sentence “What you are doing is a sin.”

Note that when lo que is used to mean “whatever,” it often stands for something that is unknown or doubtful. In these cases, it is followed by a verb in the subjunctive: Haz lo que puedas (“Do whatever you can”).

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Traducción In each sentence, the word in bold italic translates as Spanish lo queUse the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1He never remembers (recordar) what I want.

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  2She always eats what I eat.

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  3On your birthday, you can ask for (pedir) whatever you (may) want.

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  4Whatever he says is always a lie (la mentira).

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  5Do you hear what I hear? Do you know what I know?

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  6He doesn’t understand (comprender) what he reads.

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  7Some people always do what they shouldn’t do.

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  8Do you know what you want to do this weekend?

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  9She eats exactly what is bad for (para) her, and that is why she is always sick.

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10What you need is a hug (el abrazo).

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Use of cuyo, cuya, cuyos, cuyas

The relative pronoun cuyo, meaning “whose,” links the owner and the object owned. In the sentence “Peter, whose thesis is brilliant, is a fascinating man,” the owner is “Peter” and “thesis” is the object owned. The word “whose” begins the dependent clause and modifies the object owned. In Spanish, the relative pronoun in this dependent clause (cuyocuyacuyoscuyas) must agree with the noun that immediately follows it—the object owned.

The relative pronouns cuyocuyacuyos, and cuyas usually introduce a nonrestrictive clause, which is separated by commas from the main clause of the sentence.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1Marcos, whose mother is a dentist, wants to sell candy (los dulces).

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  2The boy (el chico), whose book you have, is my cousin.

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  3The actor, whose movies are terrible, is very rich.

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  4The dentist, whose office (el consultorio) is in the city, lives in the suburbs (las afueras).

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  5The children, whose parents speak only English, study Spanish.

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  6He is the man whose dog always steals (robar) our newspaper.

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  7Are you [sing., formal] the woman whose tree is so (tan) beautiful?

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  8Are they the children whose father is the senator (el senador) from Colorado?

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  9The student, whose teacher [f.] is from Ecuador, wants to go to Quito this summer.

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10Old Mrs. Hubbard, whose cupboards (el gabinete) are bare (vacío), wants to give her dog a bone (el hueso).

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11Mark, whose father is president of a bank, cannot add (sumar).

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12Lilia, whose store is very popular, is my best friend.

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Complete each sentence with one of the following relative pronouns: quelo quela quelos quelas quecuyocuyacuyoscuyas, PREPOSITION + que, PREPOSITION + quien(es)or PERSONAL a +quien(es).

  1. El libro ________________ yo tengo es muy interesante.

  2. Tú no tienes ________________ necesitamos.

  3. Las personas ________________ viven en casas de cristal no deben tirar piedras.

  4. Pedro, ________________ coche está descompuesto, tiene que tomar el autobús.

  5. Él es el hombre ________________ yo estimo mucho.

  6. Ellas son las compañeras ________________ trabajo.

  7. La mujer, ________________ cara puedes ver en esta foto, es una espía internacional.

  8. ¡________________ él dice es basura! ¡No sabe nada!

  9. Casi todo el mundo cree ________________ es necesario tener electricidad en la casa.

10. Mi canción favorita de Navidad se llama “¿Oyes ________________ yo oigo?”

11. En Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve), siempre hacemos ________________ nos da la gana.

12. Hay muchas personas ________________ hablan más de un idioma.

13. Mateo es el hombre ________________ yo conozco bien.

14. Creo que tengo exactamente ________________ ellos desean.

15. Este hombre,________________ corazón está roto, es un hombre trágico.


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Traducción

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Cabo San Lucas, which is on the southern tip of Baja California, is a wonderful place for a tranquil vacation. The area, which is mostly in the desert, has many elegant resorts that have swimming pools, restaurants, bars, shops, and health clubs. For the most part (En su mayor parte), you [sing., formal] can do whatever you want in the privacy of your hotel room. There is a downtown, which is somewhat small, that has a marina, which has many boats for fishing. Tourists who want to fish can rent a boat with a guide. Any person whose idea of fun is warmth and sun can be very content for a week in Cabo San Lucas.

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