Adjective Clause

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In English grammar, an adjective clause is a dependent clause used as an adjective within a sentence. Also known as an adjectival clause or a relative clause.

An adjective clause usually begins with a relative pronoun (which, that, who, whom, whose), a relative adverb (where, when, why), or a zero relative.

See Examples and Observations below. Also see:

Exercises

Examples and Observations

  • There are two basic types of adjective clauses."
    • The first type is the nonrestrictive or nonessential adjective clause. This clause simply gives extra information about the noun. In the sentence, 'My older brother's car, which he bought two years ago, has already needed many repairs,' the adjective clause, 'which he bought two years ago,' is nonrestrictive or nonessential. It provides extra information.
    • "The second type is the restrictive or essential adjective clause. It offers essential [information] and is needed to complete the sentence's thought. In the sentence, 'The room that you reserved for the meeting is not ready,' the adjective clause, 'that you reserved for the meeting,' is essential because it restricts which room."
  • "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead."
  • "Creatures whose mainspring is curiosity enjoy the accumulating of facts far more than the pausing at times to reflect on those facts."
  • "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh."
  • "Short, fat, and of a quiet disposition, he appeared to spend a lot of money on really bad clothes, which hung about his squat frame like skin on a shrunken toad."

Sources

Jack Umstatter, Got Grammar? Wiley, 2007

Albert Einstein

Clarence Day

W. H. Auden

John le Carré, Call for the Dead, 1961