Lesson 20:
Relative Pronouns / The Conjunction / Verbs That Use Prepositions

Relative Pronouns / The Conjunction / Verbs That Use Prepositions

RELATIVE PRONOUNS

Relative pronouns join two sentences that have one thing in common. This element is called an antecedent. These pronouns have a dual function: reproduce the noun, and then provide a link between the main clause and the subordinate clause.

“QUE”

The relative pronoun “que” can refer to animate or inanimate antecedents (persons or things) and can be either the subject or direct object of the verb of the relative clause. “Que” can refer to both singular and plural nouns.

Example:

Las personas que no estudian saben poco.
People who don’t study, know little.

La pluma que tengo en la mano es verde.
The pen I have in hand, is green.

Los extranjeros que están en el jardín, son turistas.
The foreigners who are in the garden, are tourists.

El río que atraviesa Brasil, se llama Amazonas.
The river running through Brazil, is called the Amazon.

The relative pronoun “que” refers back to people or objects that have previously been stated. The pronouns “el que, la que, los que, las que” also refer to people and objects, but their usage is different to “que” and the article that goes with them has to agree in gender, and number with the noun they refer.

However, the relative pronoun “lo que” refers neither to people nor objects, but ideas or situations.

Example:

La llave con la que abrí la puerta se quebró.
La llave con la que abrí la puerta se quebró.

No olvides el pasaporte sin el que no podrás viajar.
Do not forget your passport which without it, you cannot travel.

Los barcos en los que viajamos son muy buenos.
Los barcos en los que viajamos son muy buenos.

La pelota por la que los niños peleaban está en el sofá.
The ball that the children were fighting for, is on the couch.

Lo que pasó ayer, no pudimos evitarlo.
What happened yesterday we could not avoid it.

“QUIEN / QUIENES”

It is used after a preposition in a restrictive clause when the antecedent is a person.

Example:

La persona a quien esperas habla varios idiomas.
The person whom you are expecting is multilingual.

La señora para quien trabajo está en México.
The lady for whom I work is in Mexico.

Las chicas con quienes estuvimos ayer salieron hoy para su país.
The girls with whom we were with yesterday, left for their country today.

When “quien” replaces “que” in restrictive clauses they are used with or without prepositions, and written between commas.

Example:

Raúl, quien es mi compañero, ha recibido el premio.
Raúl, who is my partner, has received the award.

La persona, a quien eligieron para presidente, tiene 55 años.
The person, who was elected for president, is 55 years old.

El joven, con quien hablaba, es mi hermano.
The young man, with whom I spoke, is my brother.

El doctor López, quien tiene dos hijos, es el director.
Dr. López, who has two children, is the director.

“Quien” functions as a noun or subject when there is not an antecedent.

Example:

Quien te diga eso, miente.
Anyone who tells you that is, lying.

Quien mal anda, mal acaba.
Who does wrong, ends bad.

Quienes deseaban ir, hablaron con el director.
Those who wanted to go, spoke to the director.

El cual / los cuales – La cual / las cuales

It is generally used in nonrestrictive clauses, directly after the antecedent and also after a preposition.

Example:

El periodista, el cual escribió el artículo, es de Madrid.
The journalist, who wrote the article, is from Madrid.

El cuadro, por el cual pagamos cien dólares, ahora vale más de mil.
The painting, by which we paid a hundred dollars, now is worth more than a thousand.

It is also used when there are two antecedents, to clarify to whom it refers. In this case, el cual o la cual replaces quien o que.

Example:

El hermano de Luis, quien estudia en Los Estados Unidos, se graduará pronto.
Louis’ brother, who studies in the United States, will graduate soon.

El hermano de Luis, el cual estudia en Los Estados Unidos, se graduará pronto.
Louis’ brother, who studies in the United States, will graduate soon.

La muñeca de la niña, que está en el sofá, es rubia.
The girl’s doll, which is on the couch, is blonde.

La muñeca de la niña, la cual está en el sofá, es rubia.
The girl’s doll, which is on the couch, is blonde.

“Lo que / Lo cual”

These are neutral relative pronouns, and are used to refer to an idea or concept in the antecedent.

Example:

Mi hermano no vendrá a la fiesta lo que / lo cual nos sorprende mucho.
My brother will not come to the party which surprises us a lot.

Ella oyó un ruido lo cual / lo que la asustó.
She heard a noise which frightened her.

When “lo que” is used as a subject noun, it means “what”. It is not synonymous with “lo cual” in this case.

Example:

Lo que temo es que llegarán tarde.
What I fear is that they will be late.

Lo que ella dice es importante.
What she says is important.

NOTE:

1. Relative pronouns function as subject and direct object.

a. Subject: when referring to the person doing the action.

Example:

El hombre que ríe es feliz.
The man that laughs is happy.

b. Direct object: when referring to the antecedent functioning as a direct object of the verb.

Example:

El hombre que veo.(el hombre= direct object / yo = subject)
The man that I see.

2. De + definite article + que
Used when comparing two elements or similar ideas, which one is not expressed. The article agrees in gender and number with the element it modifies.

Example:

Pasaremos menos tiempo del que teníamos planeado.
We will spend less time than we had planned.

Hicieron más comida de la que pedí.
They made more food than I ordered.

3. Más / menos ….. de lo que
It is used when matching an overview.

Example:

El trabajo es más difícil de lo que pensé.
The work is harder than what I thought.

La información es menos importante de lo que creímos.
The information is less important than we thought.

“CUYO”

Cuyo is a variable and functions as a possessive adjective, agrees in gender and number with the word that it modifies, and not with the antecedent.

Example:

El niño, cuyo abrigo se había perdido, temblaba de frío.
The child, whose coat was lost, was shivering.

La fábrica, cuyos empleados renunciaron, funciona en el sur.
The factory, whose employees resigned, works in the south.

La casa, cuya chimenea se ve desde aquí, es muy vieja.
The house, whose chimney is visible from here, is very old.

THE CONJUNCTION

The conjunction is a word that is used to link invariable and associated words or sentences of the same or different grammatical value.

Class Conjuntion Meaning Examples
Copulative y / e / ni Links two items of equal syntactic function. Fui al cine y comí palomitas. – I went to the movies and ate popcorn
Disjunctive o / u Generally indicate alternation, and sometimes numbers. ¿Quieres agua o vino? – Do you want water or wine?
Adversative pero / más These can only join two sentences, and express the contrast between the first and second elements. Fui corriendo pero perdí el tren. – I ran but I missed the train.
Causal Porque / ya que / puesto que / pues One of the sentences is the cause or reason for the other. Duerme porque está cansada – She sleeps because she is tired.
Conditional Si / con tal que / siempre que / dado que Imposes a condition or an obstruction to the main clause. Si te gusta, cómpratelo. – If you like it, buy it.
Concessive Aunque / si / que / bien / por más / a pesar de que The subordinate clause expresses an objection to the main clause, but does not prevent its realization. Te dejaré ir aunque no me guste mucho la idea. – I’ll let you go even if I do not like the idea.
Comparative Tan como / como que / tal como Compares two aspects or realities indicating equality or inequality. Su trabajo no es tan difícil como parece. – His/Her work is not as difficult as it seems.
Modal De modo que / según / conforme Equivalent to a circumstantial way. Hazlo según te lo he dicho. – Do as I said.
Temporary Cuando / mientras / antes (de) que / tan pronto como / después (de) que / siempre que Indicates simultaneity, before or after the action of the main clause. Cuando llegue, avísame. – When she arrives let me know.
Consecutive Por lo tanto / pues / luego / por consiguiente An action is a result of another action. No vino rápido, por lo tanto no ganó. – He didn’t come quickly, so he did not win.
Finale Para que / a fin de que The subordinate clause indicates the purpose of the main clause. Me lo explicó otra vez para que no se me olvidara. – He explained it to me again so that I wouldn’t forget.
Completive Que This conjunction joins substantive subordinate clauses. Dice que llegará tarde. – She says that she will be late.
Relative Que / quien / cual / cuyo / donde / cuando / cuanto These conjunctions join adjectival subordinate clauses. El chico que viste es mi primo. – The guy you saw is my cousin.

Verbs that use a preposition before an infinitive

The verbs that use prepositions, use them after the verb conjugation and before an infinitive.

Verbs using the preposition “a”:

acertar a to find invitar a to invite
acercarse a to come closer limitarse a to limit to
animarse a to finally decide to negarse a to refuse
apresurarse a to hurry up to sentarse a to sit down
arriesgarse a to take a risk venir a to come to
correr a to run salir a to go out
echarse a to begin to aspirar a to aspire to
empezar a to begin to atreverse a to dare
ir a to be going to ayudar a to help
comprometerse a to commit ponerse a to start doing
comenzar a to begin to quedarse a to stay
dedicarse a to devote resignarse a to resign
disponerse a to get ready regresar a to go back, to return
obligar a to obligate resistirse a to resist, refuse
oponerse a to oppose retirarse a to retire, leave
pasar a to pass volver a return to, to go back to
Example:

Ella no se atrevía a regresar.
She did not dare to return.

Ellos aprendieron a nadar.
They learned to swim.

La niña se puso a llorar.
The girl began to cry.

Verbs using the preposition “de”:

Acabar de to just (time) dejar de to stop doing something
acordarse de to remember encargarse de to be in charge of
alegrarse de to get happy haber de to suppose to
arrepentirse de to regret ocuparse de to deal with
asombrarse de to astonish olvidarse de to forget
asustarse de to be frightened parar de to stop
avergonzarse de to be ashamed quejarse de to complain
cansarse de to get tired terminar de to finish
cesar de to stop tratar de to try
Example:

Ellos trataron de convencernos.
They tried to convince us.

Me alegraré de regresar.
I will be glad to return.

Ellos se avergüenzan de haber actuado así.
They are ashamed of the way they acted.

Verbs using the preposition “en”:

complacerse en to please empeñarse en to insist on
confiar en to trust in insistir en to insist on
convenir en to agree on quedar en to agree on
consistir en to consist on tardar en to delay
consentir en to agree to vacilar en to hesitate
dudar en to doubt
Example:

Ella insiste en vender la casa.
She insists on selling the house.

Quedaron en reunirse a las ocho.
They agreed to meet at eight.

Los maestros tardarán en regresar.
The teachers will return late.

Verbs using the preposition “con”:

Amenazar con to threaten to contar con to rely, count on
Conformarse con to resign to soñar con to dream
Example:

Ellos sueñan con viajar a Europa.
They dream of traveling to Europe.

Juan amenazó con suspender la obra.
Juan threatened to suspend the play.

Verbs that do not use prepositions before an infinitive:

dejar to let querer to want
deber to must, should saber to know
desear to wish soler to use to
esperar to hope ver to see
hacer to make tocar to be ones turn
lograr to succeed temer to fear
necesitar to need suplicar / rogar to beg
oír to hear sentir to be sorry
pensar to think proponerse to propose, to intend
poder to be able to, can permitir to let
preferir to prefer olvidar to forget
pretender to pretend mirar to look at
prometer to promise gustar to like
Example:

Me gusta estar aquí.
I like to be here.

Ellos lograrán ser alcaldes.
They will succeed to be mayors.

Siento no poder asistir a la reunión.
I am sorry for not being able to attend the meeting.