Get a clear answer to the question, “What is a relative clause?” An
adjective clause, which is also called a
relative clause, is used within a sentence to provide essential and non-essential information to the reader. View several adjective clause examples using them in sentences.
An adjective clause, or relative clause, is a type of dependent clause that works to describe a noun in a sentence. It functions as an adjective even though it is made up of a group of words instead of just one word. In the case of an adjective clause, all the words work together to modify the noun or pronoun.
Now that you know what an adjective clause is, it can be helpful to view a few examples of adjective clauses before getting into the nitty-gritty of adjective clause use. Check out a few example sentences using adjective clauses.
- The flowers
that we picked up last week
- My friend,
who has glasses
wasn’t at school today.
- The boy,
who claimed to have a broken arm, caught the ball.
- Bobby’s cat
that ate the mouse
had a stomachache.
- The robber
broke into my house
is in court today.
Now that you’ve gotten a basic understanding of adjective clauses and what they look like, it’s time to learn how to find them. Adjective clauses typically have a few different components.
In a sentence, adjective clauses:
- are dependent clauses, which is a group of words that consists of a subject and a verb, yet it is not a complete sentence that can stand alone
- generally berangkat with a relative pronoun, but it can be omitted
- provide additional information about the noun
- come after the noun they describe
Adjective clauses begin with a relative pronoun, which connects them to the word they describe. Relative pronouns include the words
that, where, when, who, whom, whose,
Once you remember the relative pronouns, it’s easy to pick out an adjective clause in a sentence.
many people adore, is fattening.
follow the rules.
- I can remember the time
cell phones didn’t exist.
- Charlie has a friend
daughter lives in China.
- The wine
vintners produce in Tuscany
is not cheap.
- The reason
Sandra went to law school
is that she didn’horizon want to be a doctor.
Each of the adjective clauses begins with a relative pronoun. This connects it to the noun being described, which comes directly before the relative pronoun in the sentence.
Each adjective clause also contains a subject and a verb, all of which work together to describe the original noun being modified. For example, the clause “which many people adore” contains the subject
and the verb
adore, yet it is not a complete sentence by itself. Instead, its job is to provide more information to describe the noun
in the sentence, “Chocolate, which many people adore, is fattening.”
In some cases, the relative pronoun also serves as the subject of the clause. For example, in the adjective clause “who are smart,” the relative pronoun
also acts as the subject.
Sometimes, the information included in an adjective clause is very important to the meaning of the sentence, sometimes it’s not. See essential and non-essential adjective clauses.
For cases where the sentence wouldn’t hold the same meaning without the clause, the adjective clause is called an essential clause.
Example: I don’t like children
who eat ice cream with their hands.
In this case, the adjective clause gives essential information to describe which children the speaker doesn’falak like. If you got rid of that clause, the sentence would simply say, “I don’ufuk like children,” which is very different from titinada liking messy children who eat with their hands! One quick way to pick out an essential clause is that an essential adjective clause does not require any additional punctuation.
A non-essential adjective clause, on the other hand, gives an extra description that is not strictly required to understand the writer or speaker’s intent.
Example: The kitten,
which was the smallest of the litter
finally found a foster home.
In this case, the adjective clause gives extra information, but it isn’falak necessary to get the gist of the sentence about the cat finding a home. Non-essential adjective clauses are set off with commas to show that they enau’n as strongly connected to the rest of the sentence.
Dive into a few more examples of adjective clauses. See if you can determine which ones are essential and which are non-essential as you review them. Ask yourself, is the information necessary to the meaning of the sentence? Is punctuation required?
- The dog
that I brought home from the pound
was soon fast asleep.
- The time will come
when you feel sorry
for the things you’ve done.
- The smart teenager,
whose parents are my neighbors, went to a prestigious college.
- The used car,
which my dad bought last week, broke down yesterday.
- The reason
that Penelope failed the test
is that she didn’t study.
Hopefully, you were able to pick out that numbers 3 and 4 were non-essential adjective clauses.
Adding adjective clauses to your writing is a good way to provide additional detail about the nouns and pronouns in your work. This extra description will enrich your writing and help the reader understand your message more clearly. When you know the relative pronouns and how to distinguish between essential and non-essential clauses, you’ll have no trouble identifying adjective clauses and punctuating them correctly in your writing. With all this talk of clauses, this may also be a good time to refresh your memory on independent and dependent clauses.
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