From experience, I know that:

which, who, where, why, whom, there, that

are relative pronouns but I wonder about the expressions:

'by which', 'to which', 'at which', 'to whom

Are these also relative pronouns in an adjective clause?

Example: this is the lab to which I go everyday.

Here I believe which is the only relative pronoun: not the combined words to which. I think that to is just a preposition modifying the relative pronoun meaning.

  • 2
    Since you can say "this is the lab which i go to every day" (and in fact, this is the normal way to say this), I wouldn't call to which a combined relative pronoun. – Peter Shor Aug 26 '18 at 13:57

These pronouns relate as well as replace nouns. Being noun substitutes, they relate to the sentences in the like manner nouns become objects to prepositions in keeping with the demand of the sentences. Placing the prepositions before the relative pronouns or at the rear of the subirdinate clauses , is just matter of style. Peter Shor rightly mentions this is present day word- order. But since they are relative (anafore) to the antecedents (noun/ pronoun) they introduce relative clauses or phrases.


In the sentence of yours -- "This is the lab to which I go everyday." -- the clause: "to which" is a pronoun clause. However, "which" can be used as a relative adjective as well, for example;

To which lab do you go everyday?

Other similar phrase is "to whose", which can be used both as an adj. and pronoun.

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