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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Adjective Clauses

 
 

An adjective clause is a dependent clause that modifies a noun. Adjective clauses are used to combine ideas from different sentences into one sentence. Adjective clauses are also called "relative clauses". 

The house is owned by Tom.

The house is on the corner.

The house

that is on the corner

is owned by Tom.

 

adjective clause

 

An adjective clause:

  • gives additional information about a noun in the independent clause.

  • uses relative pronouns and question words to connect clauses in a sentence.
    Relative pronouns are: that, which, who, whom, whose.
    Question words are: when, where

  • usually follows the noun that it modifies.


An adjective clause can use the relative pronoun as:

  • the subject of a verb.

  • the object of a verb.

  • the object of a preposition.


An adjective clause has special punctuation rules:

  • use a comma to separate an adjective clause from the independent clause if the adjective clause is not needed to identify the subject.

  • do not use a comma to separate the adjective clause from the independent clause if the adjective clause is needed to identify the subject.

Related sections
Adverb Clauses
Complex Sentences
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Punctuation
Noun Clauses
Sentence Combining: Part B