Question: How do I say "who" as in "I have a few friends who are in that class"?

Basically, I want to write this sentence, but I can't figure out how to.

This seems fine:

I have a few friends
Wǒ yǒu yīxiē péngyǒu

Attend that class
Cānjiā nàgè bān

But I don't understand how to combine them to mean "I have a few friends who are in that class".

Some guesses:

  1. Just stick them together: 我有一些朋友参加那个班. Chinese grammar can be flexible, so this might work.
  2. Use a 是...的 grammar construction: 我有一些参加那个班朋友. Seems a bit unnatural to me, but this might just be because we don't often use an adjective-made-from-a-phrase grammar style in English.
  3. We could rewrite the sentence: 在那个班,我有一些朋友参加 meaning "in that class, I have a few friends who attend" (although, we still have the same "who" problem).
  • If translated the attributive clause by rule, you may speak 我有几个在那个班的朋友. For example: 一个说英语的人, a man who speaks English. 那个我去过的城市, the city which I had been to.
    – xenophōn
    Nov 3, 2017 at 6:52

4 Answers 4


Use '的' to make the second phrase an adjective phrase for the object noun(朋友).

  • 我有一些朋友 (I have some friends)

  • 参加那个班 (attend that class)

  • 我有一些(参加那个班的)朋友 = I have some friends (who attend that class)

More example:

  • 我那个哥哥 (That older brother of mine)

  • 踢足球 (play football)

  • 我(踢足球的)那个哥哥 = (That older brother of mine who plays football)

  • I have a question concerning your and dan’s answer: you used 的 to make create an attribute, and that was my first thought, too. When I saw dan’s solution (我有几个朋友在那个班里。/我有几个朋友参加那个班。), it struck me as more natural, but I’m not a native speaker. In his answer, dan says that in this case, using 的 sounds stilted. Is it a marked structure? That means, would native speakers instantly notice it, or recognize it as not natural or not common)?
    – Philipp
    Nov 3, 2017 at 7:17
  • 1
    Both 我有一些朋友(参加那个班)" and "我有一些(参加那个班的)朋友" are valid sentences, 我有一些朋友参加那个班 emphasize on "who 参加那个班"; 我有一些(参加那个班的)朋友 emphasize on "which friends" he is referring to
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 3, 2017 at 7:52
  • 1
    @Philipp, I would use the structure like 我有几个朋友参加那个班 to interpret non-restrictive clause and 的 phrase to restrictive clause. For example, "The window which you cracked is over 300 years old": 你打碎的那扇窗户已经有300多年了。// restrictive clause; I take "I have a few friends who are in that class" as a non-restrictive clause.
    – dan
    Nov 3, 2017 at 8:44
  • 1
    @Philipp, 我有一些参加那个班的朋友. sounds '别扭'. I don't have a good English word other than stilted to express this feeling. So, I put the Chinese word 别扭 here. In Chinese, we say: 听着别扭。
    – dan
    Nov 3, 2017 at 8:53

I have a few friends who are in that class.

First step: split it into two sentences:

I have a few friends. // 我有几个朋友

a few friends are in that class. // 几个朋友在那个班级里

Second: combine the two sentences into one:


I feel if the two clauses/sentence are not that correlated with each other, we don't have to make it to be attributive strictly. In this case, we don't have to make it like 我有几个在那个班级里的朋友, which sounds stilted.

The sentence you made, 我有一些朋友参加那个班, is a good one I think.

  • Please see my question in the comment to Tang Ho’s answer
    – Philipp
    Nov 3, 2017 at 7:21
  • 參加 is compete. More suitable would be 在
    – Xetrov
    Nov 6, 2017 at 1:17




these are the same


Answer: you do not use 'who' or 'that' or any relative pronoun.

I have a few friends who are in that class.

  1. (Your friends are in that class)


  1. (Your friends are in that class right now.)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.