A relative pronoun is a word that connects or combines two elements in a sentence standing in a place of a noun. Relative pronouns always refer to the antecedent word.
Observe that the word “that” is connecting two sentences: “This is the book” and “I edited the book” The relative pronoun “that”, in the example above refer to the previous word “book”.
In this lesson you’ll learn some relative pronouns in Portuguese.
“Que” means who, whom, which and that, thus it can be used to refer to both people and things. “Que” can be used with or without a preposition even when it refers to people.
“Quem” mean who or whom. This relative pronoun is used just to refer to people. “Quien” is singular and “quienes” is plural. A preposition must precede this pronoun. Study the examples below:
“Qual / quais” means that, which, whom, whom. In other words they have the same meaning as “Que” and “Quem” do. They are used to refer to both people and things. “Qual” is singular and “quais” is plural. Definite articles must precede and agree with these relative pronouns. If the preposition that proceed the pronoun has more than 2 syllables, you have to use “qual”. Study the examples below:
“Cujo / cujos / cuja / cujas” mean whose. These relative pronouns agree in gender and number with the possessed thing (and not the owner).
Observe that in all examples above cujo / cujos / cuja / cujas – agree with the possessed things.
“Onde” also means “em que” and always refer to places.