ELA 4: Keep it Short and Sweet with Relative Pronouns

This is a video that will teach you about relative pronouns. How's that for short and sweet, video?

4th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:32

And there's no better way to keep things short and sweet than with relative pronouns.

00:36

So… what's a relative pronoun? Is it…a pronoun you have to share bunk beds with?

00:41

Uh, no. In this case, the word relative does refer to a relationship, but it's the relationship [Guy on the bottom bunk, with the word pronoun bouncing on the top bunk]

00:46

between a clause or phrase being connected to a noun or pronoun. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:50

Usually, a relative pronoun takes the form of one of these: who, whoever, whom, whomever, [The words being written in a list]

00:57

that, which, when, where, or whose.

01:01

Okay…you still might have no idea what we're talking about, so… let's dig a little deeper. [Shovel digging in dirt]

01:06

Take a look at Tommy here.

01:08

Now instead of calling Tommy, well, Tommy… let's try and use one of our relative pronouns [Boy smiling]

01:12

to make a statement about Tommy.

01:14

First up… “who.” So let's say...

01:16

“Who likes swimming.”

01:17

Um… doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? [Tommy looks confused]

01:20

That's because it's a dependent clause. It depends on the rest of the sentence, but as [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:24

it stands, it’s an incomplete sentence. No good.

01:27

In order for it to make sense, we'd want to say “Tommy likes swimming.” [Tommy jumping into the pool]

01:31

Much better.

01:32

Now what if we also wanted to say that Tommy is a boy, just in case there was any confusion.

01:37

The kid does like to paint his nails, after all. [Tommy's hand with pink painted nails]

01:39

Here, we would say...

01:40

“Tommy is a boy.”

01:42

So we've got...

01:43

“Tommy is a boy.” and “Tommy likes swimming.”

01:45

Two perfectly fine sentences. So… where the heck does our relative pronoun come into

01:49

the picture?

01:50

Well, suppose we wanted to combine the two sentences into one sentence.

01:54

We would use a relative pronoun to say...

01:56

“Tommy is a boy who likes swimming.”

01:58

Voila! There's that dependent clause from earlier, but this time it has the first part [Arrow pointing to the dependent clause]

02:03

of the sentence to depend on.

02:05

Instead of having two separate sentences to say two separate things, this relative pronoun

02:09

allows us to say two things in one sentence, shortening everything and making it a whole [Someone picking up a packet of Rolaids]

02:13

lot easier to digest.

02:15

Although the Rolaids probably will help, too.

02:17

Take a look at some other examples here... [Guy with the Rolaids after eating his cake]

02:19

“Star Wars is the movie that everyone is talking about.”

02:22

“My friend has a little brother who is annoying.”

02:25

“Larry has a brother whose house is inside of a giant lobster.” [The sentences being written out]

02:28

Each uses a relative pronoun to make the sentence shorter and more to the point. [The relative pronouns are circled]

02:33

Now if only you could teach your Great Aunt Rose to get to the point. [Aunt Rose saying a really long sentence]

02:36

There’s a reason everyone calls her “Ramblin’ Rose”… [Everyone else looks bored]