In the following sentence, a personal pronoun (I) is referred by a relative pronoun (who):

I am Steve who is living in this locality for the recent 2 years.

Is this correct or looking weird? Can anyone clarify?

  • 2
    In your example sentence, notice that the relative clause is actually using "Steve" as its antecedent, not the main clause subject "I".
    – F.E.
    Oct 9, 2014 at 18:45
  • ok. By that do you mean to say that in terms of grammar it's fine? Oct 10, 2014 at 10:15
  • There are some problems with your example, such as the use of "recent", that would make it ungrammatical (i.e. unacceptable). There might also be some style issues, but that would depend on the surrounding prose. As to the grammar of the standalone example sentence, Araucaria's post will be helpful to you for that. :)
    – F.E.
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:25

3 Answers 3


There are a few issues which make this sentence sound a little strange. The first is that we don't usually use the present simple for events or situations that started in the past and are continuing now. We usually use the present perfect or present perfect continuous. Consider:

  • I am living here for two years. * (wrong)
  • I have been living here for two years.

This would make the sentence read like this:

  • I am Steve who has been living in this locality for the recent 2 years.

I'm not sure that recent is wrong here, but it's not colloquial! We normally use past for this kind of meaning:

  • I am Steve who has been living in this locality for the past 2 years.

For me, this sentence is fine as it stands. However, some people may find it odd that you use a restrictive relative clause to modify Steve. They might say for example that if people recognize the name, they don't need a restrictive clause to explain who Steve is. I think that's wrong. The person listening may be confused when you say Steve, and not remember who you are - because they've only been told about you and not met you. Or they might not recognize your face because you've got older or had a haircut, so the extra clause may be necessary to jog their memory:

  • I'm Steve! You know! Steve who drove you to France last year!

If you wanted to, you could also put an article, the, before the name Steve. You could say:

  • I am the Steve who's been living in this locality for the past 2 years.

This is very clear. When we say the Bob or the Angela we are showing that you might be thinking about different possible Bob s or Angela s and that we are going to explain which one.

The Original Poster's question

The Original Poster asks whether it's wrong to use I as an antecedent for who. The answer to this question is: No it isn't. We would usually find it with a non-restrictive clause though - one with commas:

  • I, who never ask for anything, would like you to help me just this once.

However, in the Original Poster's example, the antecedent for who is Steve, not I. We can show the structure of the sentence like this:

  • I am [[Steve] [who has been living in this locality for the past 2 years]]

Hope this is helpful!

  • 1
    I edited your post to merely fix two typos in your examples. Hopefully you'll touch your post in some way so as to remove my handsome face from it. :)
    – F.E.
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:20
  • 1
    @F.E. Thanks! Btw, what is your handsome face? Are you a zebra-striped tiger by any chance? Oct 10, 2014 at 21:12
  • 1
    @F.E. Oh, I thought I'd already done those ... What!!!?? Grrr ... (hits head against wall ...). No I'll leave your face on there as a recognition of my shame ... Oct 10, 2014 at 21:20
  • @Araucaria Splendind effort and the answer is very minute in case handling. Thanks. Oct 13, 2014 at 14:07

Your sentence has more than one issue, so let's fix the extraneous issues to focus on the one you asked about.

Does not sound funny:

I know a man named Steve who has lived in this locality for the last three years.

Does sound funny:

I am Steve, who has lived in this locality for the last three years.

Once you have identified yourself (you are Steve), there is no need to identify yourself further using a relative clause. You would just say,

I am Steve; I have lived in this area for the last three years.

  • Fine, I understand that the usage of this construct can be avoided. Oct 10, 2014 at 10:17

Not "who is". You need a verb in the first person because the sentence begins with "I".

I ... who am
I ... who was
I ... who have

Your sentence is also not idiomatic, but that's a different problem.

I, Muthukumar, who am of sound mind, do hereby bequeathe all of my worldly goods to Tim Romano, for his invaluable answer to my question about a sentence which, had it been posed in idiomatic English, would have read: My name is Steve, and I've been living here for the last two years."

  • Care to explain the downvote?
    – TimR
    Oct 9, 2014 at 17:59
  • I'm not the downvoter; but your grammar explanation seems a bit off. Consider: "They hired Steve who is only twelve years old" -- notice that the relative clause is using "Steve" as its antecedent, not the main clause subject "They".
    – F.E.
    Oct 9, 2014 at 18:40
  • I do not follow. I wrote "because the sentence begins with 'I'". Your example has "They". What does the Deity say? I am who am.
    – TimR
    Oct 9, 2014 at 19:35
  • 1
    The point that F.E,'s making is that according to you it should be. I am the person who am taking you to France. Whereas, as we all know, it's I am the person who is taking you to France. Hope that helps! Oct 10, 2014 at 14:07
  • 1
    @TimRomano So you're saying it would be [I am Steve who am here to claim my bride] ? Oct 10, 2014 at 14:32

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