Nouns are defined in traditional grammars as words that refer to people, places, things, and ideas. Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, and other grammatical forms and are a subcategory of nouns. Relative pronouns are both a type of pronoun that take the place of another word, phrase, or clause and a type of subordinating conjunction that introduce adjective, or relative, clauses. The relative pronouns in English are who, whom, that, which, Ø (null relative pronoun), and whose (as well as the relative adverbs when, where, and why).
In grammar, an object complement is a word, phrase, or clause that directly follows and describes or completes the direct object. The three relative pronouns that can function as the direct object of an adjective clause are that, which, and Ø. Examples of relative pronouns as object complements include the following:
- The aquamarine that you painted the bathroom is absolutely horrendous.
- Her mother hates the color that she dyed her hair.
- He should never repeat that awful name, which she knows he called her.
- The position, which the Dean appointed the Head of the department, includes a pay raise.
- The employees really hate the color Ø the boss painted the office.
Relative Pronoun as Object Complement
Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.