- A clause is a group of words.
- An adjective describes nouns and pronouns.
- An adjective clause cannot stand alone.
These are also called subordinate clauses. They can be mainly classified as noun, adjective, and adverb clauses. In this Penlighten article, you will learn what is an adjective clause and some examples of the same.
- An adjective clause is a subordinate clause that modifies the noun in the main clause.
- It includes a subject and a verb, which is why, it is a clause and not a phrase.
- It usually appears after the noun.
- Thus, it acts like an adjective, giving more information about the function of the noun in the sentence.
- An adjective clause always starts with a relative pronoun or a relative adverb.
- It has a subject and verb.
- It is the answer to the question asked to the noun.
Sometimes, time relative clauses are introduced by relative adverbs, like:
- The relative pronoun can sometimes be omitted.
- If the clause compulsorily answers the question in the main clause, i.e., if it is definitely required to identify the noun, it is called a restrictive clause. In this case, you do not need to use commas.
- If the clause just provides extra information, i.e., if it is not necessarily required to identify the noun, it is called a non-restrictive clause. In this case, you need to use commas.
- Since the noun is either a subject or object, the adjective clause (relative pronoun or relative adverb) will always modify the subject or object.
‘That I saw yesterday’ is the clause that explains more about the dog. If you ask the question, ‘Which?’ to the main clause, you will find the answer in this adjective clause. It is used for living and non-living things in place of the subject or object.
Main clause: My friend won the competition.
Adjective Clause: who has green eyes.
Ask, ‘Which friend?’ to the main clause. The answer is, ‘the one who has green eyes’. It is used to describe the subject in the main clause.
‘which are missing’ modifies ‘toys’. It is used exclusively for things and animals in place of the subject or object.
Remember that ‘whom’ is always used for humans when they are placed as the object in the sentence.
The clause, ‘whose sister is blond’, gives information about the man waiting outside. Like ‘that’, ‘whose’ is also used for living and non-living things in place of the subject and object, and it is used to indicate possession.
Here, ‘where’ is a relative adverb that describes the place. It cannot be a subject.
‘when’ here describes the time when the maid arrives. It can be omitted sometimes though.
This is the reason why I do not have fruits after lunch.
In this case also, the ‘why’ can be omitted. It modifies ‘reason’ in the main clause.
The chocolates you ate yesterday are the ones Daddy bought from Belgium.
Observe the two sentences carefully. In the first one, the relative pronoun is ‘which’ and the clause is ‘which you ate yesterday’. The sentence, however, makes complete sense even without the relative pronoun. Thus, this is one of those examples in which the relative pronoun can be omitted.
The clause ‘who cannot handle alcohol’ is a restrictive clause. That is why we have not used any commas here. The clause is absolutely necessary for the noun in the main clause.
In this case, ‘who cannot handle excess alcohol’ is a non-restrictive clause. Therefore, we have used commas to separate the sentence fragments. Also, the clause is not necessarily a very important part, i.e., it is just giving some extra information about Susan. Also, remember that non-restrictive clauses never have a ‘that’.
The boy running alongside the beach is my brother.
An adjective clause can be changed into a phrase by omitting the subject pronoun and the verb, or replacing the verb with its ‘ing’ form. In the above example, the pronoun and verb have been omitted.