I have to combine sentences in many ways. Could you help me check them please?

  1. I was sitting on the bridge.
  2. I watched the children.

I think it is okay to combine sentences like this.

Watching the children, I was sitting on the bridge,

But is it possible if I use “who” like the sentence below?

I, who watched the children, was sitting on the bridge.

I'm not sure that "who" can be after personal pronoun or not.

  • 1
    I believe you could say that if that's what you mean (what you do is taking care of children day in and day out). I mean you would agree that saying "I, who watched the children, was sitting on the bridge," is not the same thing as, "I, who was watching the children, was sitting on the bridge". Anyway, combining them with while might sound better, imho. Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 10:30
  • Many thanks Damkerng T. I agree with you on "while" but I 'd like to know about the possibility of using “who” after a personal pronoun.
    – nkm
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 10:35
  • I sat on the bridge watching the children
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 12:34
  • 1
    "As I was sitting on the bridge, I watched the children" "I, who watched the children, while/whilst sitting on the bridge." Is possible... But my instinct says to rephrase the entire sentence to: While I was sitting on the bridge; the children, who I was looking after, were playing.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


It is possible, but unusual.

According to Practical English Usage by Michael Swan,

498 relatives (5): advanced points
12 agreement of person
Most relative clauses have third-person reference; I who ... , you who ... and we who ... are unusual, though they sometimes occur in a very formal style.

You who pass by, tell them of us and say
For their tomorrow we gave our today.
(Allied war memorial at Kohima)

Here is one such example,

"The beggarly Jewish radicals of the 30's are now the ruling cultural pundits of American society -- I who stood so long outside the door wondering if I would ever get through it, am now one of the standard-bearers of American literary opinion -- a judge to young men."
--Kazin, Alfred. The Passionate Encounter: In 65 years of keeping a journal, a noted midcentury critic had much to say about his fellow writers and the literary world they shared.

  • Yes, I would mark this as a literary usage; a way to make something sound formal or important, or add effect. I also agree with what you said in your comment on the question (which I think you should add to your answer!) that there's a difference between watched/watching. There's also the distinction between two definitions of watched: does the OP mean they were minding the children, or just observing them? This question is a bit more complicated than one would think! Anyway, +1 :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 0:10

It is very unusual to use who with the first person, but the word while would work.

While [I was] sitting on the bridge, I watched the children.

The I was is optional.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .