Lawless Spanish
Free Spanish Lessons
Online language learning with Laura K. Lawless
Lawless Spanish > Spanish Lessons > Grammar > Pronouns > Relative Pronouns > Quien

Spanish language Spanish Relative Pronoun Quien ~ Pronombre relativo

Just like in English, a Spanish relative pronoun links a dependent/relative clause (i.e., a clause that cannot stand alone) to a main clause. In this lesson we'll discuss quien, which literally means who or whom. Note that in Spanish, relative pronouns are required, whereas in English, they are sometimes optional.

Quien joins a main clause to a dependent or relative clause, replaces one or more words, and can only refer to people.* The plural form is quienes.

*If you need to replace a thing, use que. More on whether to use quien or que in an upcoming lesson.

Quien can replace the subject:

El profesor va a ayudarnos. Él vive en Barcelona. 
El profesor, quien vive en Barcelona, va a ayudarnos. 

The teacher, who lives in Barcelona, is going to help us.

Las chicas quieren trabajar juntas. Ellas son hermanas.
Las chicas, quienes son hermanas, quieren trabajar juntas.

The girls, who are sisters, want to work together.

Quien can replace the direct object and must be preceded by the preposition a:

Ana quiere al hombre. Yo lo vi.
Ana quiere al hombre a quien yo vi.

Ana loves the man (that) I saw.

Las chicas no han llegado. Mi hermano las conoce.
Las chicas a quienes mi hermano conoce no han llegado.

The girls (that/who) my brother knows haven't arrived.

Quien replaces the object of a preposition:

La mujer es muy inteligente. Vivo con ella
La mujer, con quien vivo, es muy inteligente. 

The woman, with whom I live, is very smart (or The woman (who) I live with is very smart).

Los estudiantes están aquí. Hablaba de ellos.
Los estudiantes, de quienes hablaba, están aquí.

The students about whom I was talking are here (or The students (who) I was talking about are here).


Spanish Pronouns     Spanish for Beginners


Subscribe to the free 
Lawless Spanish
weekly newsletter
Spanish newsletter


All rights reserved.
About Lawless Spanish

Find Spanish Lessons
Custom Search

Advertise on
Lawless Spanish
Options & Rates



LKL's sites
  Learn English
  Learn French
  Veggie Table
  LKL homepage





Lawless Spanish