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English definition of “who”


pronoun (USED TO REFER)    /huː/
A2 used as the subject or object of a verb to show which person you are referring to, or to add information about a person just mentioned . It is used for people , not things: I think it was your Dad who phoned . She's one of those people who love to be the centre of attention . He called James, who was a good friend as well as the family doctor . The other people who (also that) live in the house are really friendly . This is Gabriel, who I told you about.Relative forms Grammar:Questions: interrogative pronouns (what, who)We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. They are: who, which, whom, what and whose. These are also known as wh-words. Questions using these are called wh-questions:Grammar:Interrogative pronouns: usesWe use who and whom on their own:Grammar:Relative pronounsRelative pronouns introduce relative clauses. The most common relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, which, that. The relative pronoun we use depends on what we are referring to and the type of relative clause.Grammar:Relative pronouns: whoWe use who in relative clauses to refer to people, and sometimes to pet animals. We use it to introduce defining and non-defining relative clauses:Grammar:No relative pronounIn informal styles, we often leave out the relative pronoun. We only do this in defining relative clauses, and when the relative pronoun is the object of the verb. We don’t leave out the relative pronoun when it is the subject of the verb nor in non-defining relative clauses:Grammar:Relative pronouns: typical errorsGrammar:Who, whomWho and whom are wh-words. We use them to ask questions and to introduce relative clauses.Grammar:Who as a question wordWe use who as an interrogative pronoun to begin questions about people:Grammar:Emphatic questions with whoever and who on earthWe can ask emphatic questions using whoever or who on earth to express shock or surprise. We stress ever and earth:Grammar:Who in relative clausesWe use who as a relative pronoun to introduce a relative clause about people:Grammar:WhomWhom is the object form of who. We use whom to refer to people in formal styles or in writing, when the person is the object of the verb. We don’t use it very often and we use it more commonly in writing than in speaking.
(Definition of who pronoun (USED TO REFER) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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