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Relative Pronouns:

Relative clauses begin with relative pronouns - words that correspond to who, whom, that and which in English.  These may be omitted in English, but must be included in German.  A comma always precedes the relative pronoun, which is put into the correct gender depending on the noun it refers to, and the correct case depending on its function in the clause.  (In the following example, the relative pronoun is in the masculine accusative case because Mantel is masculine, and is a direct object of the verb "to buy", therefore, it is accusative.)  The conjugated verb goes to the end of the sentence as well.

That's the coat (that) I bought yesterday.
Das is der Mantel, den ich gestern gekauft habe.


Relative Pronouns:

Relative pronouns have the same gender and number as the nouns they refer to, and the forms closely resemble those of the definite articles:

Case | Masc. | Fem. | Neu. | Plural
Nom. | der | die | das | die
Acc. | den | die | das | die
Dat. | dem | der | dem | denen
Gen. | dessen | deren | dessen | deren



Der Fluss, der durch Wien fliesst, heißt Donau.

The river, that through Vienna flows, is called the Danube.

The river that flows through Vienna is called the Danube.

Der Hund, den ich letzte Woche gesehen habe, war Julias.

The dog, that I last week seen have, was Julia's.

The dog that I saw last week was Julia's.

Mein Vater ist der einzige Mensch, dem ich nichts davon erzählt habe.

My father is the only person, to whom I nothing about it told have.

My father is the only person (to) whom I have told nothing about it.


Additional Info:

When a relative pronoun follows a preposition, the preposition determines the case, while the gender and number are determined by the noun.  The preposition and pronoun always stay together as one unit as well.

Wer war die Frau, mit der ich dich gesehen habe?
Who was the woman, with whom I you seen have?
Who was the woman (whom) I saw you with? 

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