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Learn how to Use Adjective Clauses, With Examples


Adjective clauses, also referred to as relative clauses, are a sort of dependent clause that describes or modifies nouns, similar to particular person adjectives do. Like all clauses, adjective clauses comprise a topic and a verb. You possibly can establish adjective clauses as a result of they often start with a relative pronoun like that, which, or who.

Adjective clauses are widespread in English, however their guidelines can get a bit of tough. On this information, we clarify the whole lot you want to know to make use of adjective clauses appropriately and supply loads of adjective clause examples to point out you ways they work.

Adjective clauses definition

All adjectives modify nouns. Typically adjectives are single phrases, like large or lovely, however different occasions they’re clauses with their very own topic and verb. Clauses that modify nouns are referred to as adjective clauses.

[ADJECTIVE:] Jabari caught a gigantic fish!

[ADJECTIVE CLAUSE:] Jabari caught a fish, which was gigantic!

Typically referred to as relative clauses, adjective clauses are a sort of dependent clause that describes a noun, simply as a person adjective does. Whereas regular adjectives are often only a single phrase or phrase, adjective clauses at all times comprise a topic and a verb and often embrace another phrases as properly.

5 guidelines for creating an adjective clause: Examples

1
Adjective clauses begin with a relative pronoun

The explanation adjective clauses are additionally referred to as relative clauses is as a result of they often start with relative pronouns.

The brand new restaurant, which simply opened final month, has already closed down.

I took my accomplice, who has by no means seen snow, on a ski journey.

Relative pronouns have many makes use of; should you see one, it doesn’t at all times imply there’s an adjective clause. Nonetheless, seeing a relative pronoun in a sentence means there could be an adjective clause.

Relative pronouns generally used for adjective clauses embrace the next:

  • that
  • which
  • who
  • whom
  • whose
  • the place
  • when

Moreover, the relative pronouns whoever, whomever, wherever, and whichever can even introduce adjective clauses, however these are a lot much less widespread than these within the listing above.

We’ll take both a taxi or bus, whichever comes first.

Likewise, the relative pronoun why can often be used for adjective clauses, though this utilization is uncommon.

The film Annabelle is the rationale why I removed my doll assortment.

2
Adjective clauses want a topic and a verb

The principle trait of clauses is that they comprise each a topic and a verb. Adjective clauses are not any completely different, that means each will need to have its personal topic and verb.

My coach didn’t consider that I gained my first wrestling match.

On this instance, the topic of the adjective clause is I and the verb is gained. Discover how these are completely different from the topic and verb of the unbiased clause, that are my coach (topic) and consider (verb).

Needless to say typically the topic of an adjective clause is the relative pronoun. All pronouns are a sort of noun, to allow them to act as a topic.

I would like a roommate who shouldn’t be afraid of spiders.

3
Adjective clauses are linked to unbiased clauses

As a result of adjective clauses are a sort of dependent clause, they have to be linked to an unbiased clause to type an entire sentence. In different phrases, you can’t use adjective clauses alone.

4
Adjective clauses relate to nouns from the unbiased clause

Adjective clauses modify nouns, which suggests they have to be associated to a different noun exterior the adjective clause. This noun might be a topic, direct object, prepositional object, or some other position for a noun.

She didn’t wake from the nap till 6 p.m., when the solar was setting.

On this adjective clause instance, the noun 6 p.m., which is the item of the preposition till, is modified by the adjective clause when the solar was setting.

5
Adjective clauses come after the noun

Not like regular adjectives that often come earlier than the noun they modify, adjective clauses at all times come after it. This makes it pretty simple to establish which noun they modify.

The wealthy girl whose home we had been at wasn’t even house.

This implies you can by no means begin a sentence with an adjective clause. Nonetheless, you can begin a sentence with a noun clause—which may additionally start with a relative pronoun—so watch out you don’t combine them up.

[NOUN CLAUSE:] Whoever eats probably the most sizzling canines will get the trophy.

[ADJECTIVE CLAUSE:] The winner, whoever eats probably the most sizzling canines, will get the trophy.

How are adjective clauses utilized in writing?

Adjective clauses are by no means actually important, however they’ll drastically enhance your writing by including extra particulars. They’re notably helpful in specifying explicit or defining traits of the noun being described.

Jovan needed to see a horror film that wasn’t too scary.

On this adjective clause instance, the noun horror film shouldn’t be particular sufficient. Jovan doesn’t wish to see any horror film; he desires to see solely a particular kind of horror film. We use the adjective clause that wasn’t too scary to switch the noun horror film and higher talk his choice.

Eradicating the relative pronoun in an adjective clause

Perceive adjective clauses to date? That’s good, as a result of we’ve got one other element to incorporate.

Typically—however not at all times—you possibly can take away the relative pronoun in an adjective clause and the sentence remains to be right.

That is the e book that I used to be speaking about!

That is the e book I used to be speaking about!

Each of the above adjective clause examples are right, however one is lacking the relative pronoun that. In sure conditions, you possibly can eliminate the relative pronoun and the grammar remains to be right.

When is it OK to take away a relative pronoun? If the relative pronoun acts as the topic within the adjective clause, you can’t take away it. In any other case, it’s okay to drop it.

I met somebody whom you dated in highschool.

On this adjective clause instance, the relative pronoun whom is used as the item of the verb dated. The topic of the adjective clause is you; the topic is the doer of the motion, and on this case the pronoun you is doing the relationship. As a result of the relative pronoun whom is used as an object, you possibly can safely take away it.

Now let’s rephrase the adjective clause instance.

I met somebody who dated you in highschool.

On this new instance, the relative pronoun who is the topic. As a result of the topic is the doer of the motion, now who does the relationship (who is a pronoun that represents the antecedent, somebody). As a result of the relative pronoun who acts as the topic, we can’t take away it.

There’s a fast approach to keep in mind when it’s OK to drop the relative pronoun in an adjective clause, and it really works more often than not. If the relative pronoun is instantly adopted by a verb, it’s in all probability the topic of the clause. Which means we will’t take away it. If the phrase after the relative pronoun is a noun, then that noun might be the topic—which suggests we will take away the relative pronoun.

In our first instance, the relative pronoun whom was adopted by the noun you. It was secure to take away whom as a result of you was the topic. In our second instance, the relative pronoun who was adopted by the verb dated. This time who was the topic, so we couldn’t take away it.

Eradicating the relative pronoun is beneficial if you wish to make your writing shorter and extra energetic. It’s additionally notably helpful should you’re utilizing the phrase that as a demonstrative pronoun and a relative pronoun.

I hope that that was the final interruption.

On this instance, the primary that is used as a relative pronoun introducing the adjective clause. The second that is a demonstrative pronoun; it represents no matter “interruption” the speaker was speaking about. As a result of the second that is the topic of the adjective clause, we will safely take away the primary that because it’s not the topic.

I hope that that was the final interruption.

Eradicating the relative pronoun from an adjective clause is superior English. For those who don’t really feel prepared or assured sufficient, don’t fear—you possibly can at all times preserve the relative pronoun within the sentence if you’re uncertain about eradicating it.

Adjective clause vs. adverbial clause

Adjectives and adverbs are sometimes blended up. Each are phrase lessons that modify different phrases—the distinction is that adjectives modify nouns and adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and different adverbs.

As you possibly can think about, adjective clauses and adverbial clauses (additionally referred to as adverb clauses) are additionally blended up. The distinction is, once more, that adjective clauses modify nouns and adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives, and different adverbs.

How will you inform an adjective clause aside from an adverbial clause? Adverbial clauses don’t at all times begin with a relative pronoun. Nonetheless, typically they do, in order that’s not a dependable methodology to tell apart them.

As a substitute, deal with what the clauses describe. If it provides particulars to a noun, it’s an adjective clause. If it provides particulars to the verb, corresponding to explaining when or the place the motion happened, it’s an adverbial clause.

[ADVERBIAL CLAUSE:] We vacationed the place it was sunny.

[ADJECTIVE CLAUSE:] We vacationed on the seashore, the place it was sunny.

Adjective clause vs. adjective phrase

An adjective phrase is a gaggle of phrases that work collectively as a single adjective, similar to an adjective clause does. The distinction is that adjective clauses have a topic and a verb, however adjective phrases don’t.

[ADJECTIVE PHRASE:] Simple and high-paying jobs are onerous to search out.

[ADJECTIVE CLAUSE:] Jobs which can be simple and high-paying are onerous to search out.

Adjective clause FAQs

What’s an adjective clause?

Adjective clauses, also referred to as relative clauses, are a sort of dependent clause that describes or modifies nouns, similar to particular person adjectives do. Like all clauses, adjective clauses comprise a topic and verb. You possibly can establish adjective clauses as a result of they often start with a relative pronoun like that, which, or who.

When is an adjective clause helpful?

Adjective clauses are most helpful when explaining the particular qualities of a noun. For instance, should you say a film, that noun is simply too basic and will imply something. For those who say a film that isn’t too lengthy, the adjective clause that isn’t too lengthy makes it extra particular so you possibly can talk higher.

What’s the distinction between an adjective clause and an adverbial clause?

The distinction between adjective clauses and adverbial clauses is identical because the distinction between adjectives and adverbs typically. Adjective clauses modify nouns, whereas adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives, and different adverbs.

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