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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Adjective Phrases

 
 

Examples of adjective phrases:

 
 
Adjective clauses with subject pronouns can be reduced to make adjective phrases

The actress who is performing in the play is famous.

adjective clause

A clause has a subject and a verb

The actress performing in the play is famous. adjective phrase A phrase has no subject or verb.


Adjective clauses that do not have subject pronouns cannot be reduced.
The book which I read last week is great. adjective clause This adjective clause has an object pronoun.


To reduce adjective clauses with "be" verb form, omit the relative pronoun and the "be" verb form.
The woman who is teaching my son to swim lives next door to me. adjective clause

Subject = who
"Be" verb form = is teaching

The woman teaching my son to swim lives next door to me. adjective phrase Omit "who" and "is"
Keep "teaching"
John, who is my teacher, is going to Tokyo next month. adjective clause Subject = who
"Be" verb form = is
John, my teacher, is going to Tokyo next month. adjective phrase Omit "who" and "is"


To reduce adjective clauses without the "be" verb form, omit the relative pronoun and change the verb to its -ing form.
The man who lives upstairs sells computers. adjective clause Subject = who
Verb = lives
The man living upstairs sells computers. adjective phrase Omit subject
Change "lives" to "living"
The car that drove through the red light was photographed by the police. adjective clause Subject = that
Verb = drove
The car driving through the red light was photographed by the police. adjective phrase Omit subject
Change "drove" to "driving"


Use a comma to separate an adjective phrase from the independent clause if the adjective phrase is not needed to identify the subject.
Mary, sitting over there, is my sister. use commas Mary is the subject. The subject is identified. Therefore, the adjective phrase is not needed to identify the subject.


Do not use a comma to separate the adjective phrase from the independent clause if the adjective phrase is needed to identify the subject.
That woman sitting over there is my sister. do not use commas That woman is the subject. The subject is NOT identified. Therefore, the adjective phrase is needed to identify the subject.