English grammar

Module 9, Clauses, Lesson 2:

Adjective Clauses

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English grammar
Definition:
An adjective clause (also called relative clause) is a dependent clause that modifies a noun or pronoun. It tells which one or what kind. Adjective clauses almost always come right after the nouns they modify.
There is the mountain that we are going to climb.
My blue tennis shoes, which used to be my mom's, were under the bed.
Daniel, who was late again today, sits next to me in English.

Using dependent clauses is a way of combining sentences.

Daniel was late again today + Daniel sits next to me in English = Daniel, who was late again today, sits next to me in English.

With relative pronouns - An adjective clause generally begins with a relative pronoun (that, which, who, whom, whose) that connects the clause to the noun or pronoun it modifies. The relative pronoun shows the relationship between the clause and the antecedent.

There is the mountain that we are going to climb. (Antecedent = mountain. That connects the clause we are going to climb that with the antecedent.)

My blue tennis shoes, which used to be my mom's, were under the bed. (Antecedent = shoes. Which is a pronoun replacing shoes in the dependent clause shoes used to be my mom's and relating it to the subject of the independent clause.)

Daniel, who was late again today, sits next to me in English. (Antecedent = Daniel, Who = Daniel, so the dependent clause means Daniel was late again today. Who is replacing Daniel in the second clause and relating it to the subject of the independent clause.)

The relative pronoun has a grammatical function in the sentence.

There is the mountain that we are going to climb. (That is the direct object of the infinitive to climb.)
My blue tennis shoes, which used to be my mom's, were under the bed. (Which is the subject of the verb used.)
Daniel, who was late again today, sits next to me in English. (Who is the subject of the dependent clause.)
Hint:
When choosing between who and whom, consider how the pronoun is used in the dependent clause, not the independent clause.

These are the students who are going. (Who is the subject of the dependent clause.)
These are the students. Who are going. (They are going.)

Those are the students for whom I bought the tickets. (Whom is the object of the preposition for.)
Those are the students. I bought the tickets for whom. (I bought the tickets for them.)

With understood pronouns - Sometimes the relative pronoun is understood and not written in the sentence.

Have you seen the book I lost?
Have you seen the book [that] I lost?

The teacher I had in fifth grade really inspired me.
The teacher [whom] I had in fifth grade really inspired me.

With prepositions - If the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition and is left out, the preposition has no choice but to dangle. In informal, spoken English, this is fine. It is also fine in spoken English to end the clause with the preposition. However, in formal English it is better to put the preposition before the pronoun. Note that the preposition is part of the dependent clause.

This movie was the sequel we had been waiting for. (Informal)
This movie was the sequel, which we had been waiting for. (Informal)
This movie was the sequel for which we had been waiting. (Formal)

Do you know the actor Shelly is talking about? (Informal)
Do you know the actor that Shelly is talking about? (Informal)
Do you know the actor about whom Shelly is talking? (Formal) (Note that that becomes whom or which.)

With relative adverbs - Adjective clauses can also start with the relative adverbs where, when, and why. They connect the dependent clause to a noun in the sentence. The relative adverb modifies the verb in the dependent clause.

That is the bench where you and I were supposed to meet.
Six o'clock was the time when we were supposed to be there.
That is the reason why I couldn't meet you.

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
Directions:
Click on all the words in each adjective clause.
1.
The city that we visited was busy and noisy.
2.
Carlos liked the roommate he shared a room with at camp.
3.
The tree under which I parked my car kept my car from getting too hot.
4.
The teacher you gave your permission slip to turned it in to the office.
5.
Is that the teacher you had last year?
6.
The house where Abraham Lincoln was born is now a museum.
7.
Those are the shoes I left at your house last week.
8.
I visited the Colosseum, where the Roman gladiators fought.
9.
The third grader whom you tutor got an A on his spelling test.
10.
I found the book that you were looking for.
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