Adjective clauses

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Adjective clauses

  1. 1. Adjective Clauses GRAMMAR THAT MAKES YOU CRAZY!
  2. 2. Where does the clause begin? Adjective clauses begin with a relative pronoun (subordinator) that functions as the subject of the clause. Subject Pronouns: ◦ For people: use “who” or “that” ◦ For things or places: use “which” or “that”
  3. 3. Examples: The people who were at the amusement park were having a great time! The banana that I ate today was bad. Last year, I visited the Taj Mahal, which was bigger than I thought it would be.
  4. 4. There is a difference between pronouns that function as subjects of a sentence and pronouns that are used as subjects of a dependent adjective clause. Subject Pronouns Relative Pronouns I Who You Which He/She/It That We Whose They Whom Only one pronoun can be used as the subject of an adjective clause. Incorrect: I gave a banana that it was bad to my dog.
  5. 5. Types of Adjective Clauses Identifying/Restrictive: ◦ Provide essential information (“That’s the one I’m talking about”) ◦ No commas necessary; clauses are joined Nonidentifying/Nonrestrictive: ◦ Provide additional addition (“By the way…”) ◦ Commas necessary; adjective clause is free to be set apart *Do not use “that” to introduce nonidentifying (non-essential) information!
  6. 6. Examples Identifying Adjective Clause: ◦ The car that has a broken headlight belongs to my dad. ◦ Chicago is the city which has the third largest population in the U.S. Nonidentifying Adjective Clause: ◦ The car, which has a broken headlight, belongs to my dad. ◦ Chicago, which has the third largest population in the U.S., is a favorite destination for tourists.
  7. 7. More Examples Identifying or nonidentifying? ◦ She is the teacher whose class I enjoy the most. ◦ The teacher, whose class I enjoy, is the youngest teacher in the Engineering Department. ◦ President Obama, who loves his family, eats dinner with his wife and daughters every night. ◦ President Obama is a man who loves his family and makes time for them every night.
  8. 8. Where does the clause begin? Adjective clauses can begin with a relative pronoun that functions as the object of the clause. ◦ For people: use “whom” or “that” ◦ Robert, whom I met last week, has agreed to be my research partner. ◦ The owner of the new coffee shop is the same woman that I used to see at Starbucks. ◦ For things or places: use “which” or “that” ◦ I loved the book that you recommended to me. ◦ The book I just finished, which you recommended to me, was the best book I have read.
  9. 9. What’s missing? “I read the book she wrote.” You can leave out a relative pronoun in an adjective clause IF: ◦ the pronoun functions as the object of the clause, AND ◦ The adjective clause is an identifying clause. I read the book which she wrote. → I read the book she wrote. He is the singer whom I met at the concert. → He is the singer I met at the concert.
  10. 10. More Adjective Phrases An adjective clause can be shortened to an adjective phrase if: ◦ -the relative pronoun is the subject of the dependent clause, AND ◦ -the verb of the clause is a form of the “be” verb ◦ Ex: The student who is sitting in front of me needs to wake up! ↓ The student sitting in front of me needs to wake up!
  11. 11. When and Where Adjective clauses may begin with “when” and “where”: ◦ That’s the restaurant where I got sick. ◦ I remember the day when I met my husband. *You may leave out “when” and “that” in identifying adjective clauses referring to a time: That was the day when I broke my arm. → That was the day I broke my arm.
  12. 12. Resources: Information and examples can be found in: Fuchs, Marjorie, and Margaret Bonner. Focus on Grammar: An Integrated Skills Approach. 3rd ed. White Plains, NY: Pearson Longman, 2006. Print. And at: http://faculty.deanza.edu/flemingjohn/stories/storyReader$20

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