2 ADJECTIVE CLAUSESdependent clauses that must be joined to independent clausesdescribe nouns and pronounsoften placed in a sentence right after the noun they describeadd details to sentences by functioning as adjectives
3 ADJECTIVE (RELATIVE) CLAUSES Adjective clauses begin with one of the relative pronouns such as who, whom, whose, where , that, which,Also called relative clauses.
4 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhoRefers to people, used as subject in the clauseThe lady who teaches in the Political Science department is my mentor.(Relative pronoun as the subject of the clause)
5 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhomRefers to people, used as object or object of preposition(Formal grammar recommends whom, not who, in the object position)Sally, who(m) he knew, arrived yesterday.(Relative pronoun as the object of the clause)The student of whom he spoke was a foreigner.(Relative pronoun as the object of a preposition)
6 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses Which or thatRefers to things, animalsThe watch which Ken bought was expensive.The ring that Jamie wears is from her husband.The lion that escaped last night was captured.(Note: the sentence using which is more formal than the one with that)
7 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhoseRefers to possession/ownershipThe father whose child is missing is frantic!The company whose manager has resigned is in dire straits.
8 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhenRefers to a time (in + year, in + month, on + day,...).It cannot be a subject.It can be omittedI will never forget the day when I graduated.I will never forget the day on which I graduated.I will never forget the day that I graduated.I will never forget the day I graduated.
9 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhereRefers to a place (in + country, in + city, at + school,...).It cannot be a subject.It can be omitted but a preposition (at, in, to) usually must be added.The house where hestays is old .The house in which he stays is old.The house which he stays in is old.The house that he stays in is old.The house he stays in is old.
10 Relative Pronouns & Adjective Clauses WhyRefers to reasonIt can be omittedI don’t know why he winked.I don’t know the reason why he winked.I don’t know the reason he winked.
11 Adjective Clauses: Restrictive & Non-restrictive Clauses Restrictive Clauses (Essential)Non-restrictive Clauses (Non-essential)are necessary for identification—tell exactly which thing or personare interesting with extra information -but don’t identify or tell “which one”DO NOT have commas around clauseALWAYS have commas around clauseAlso known as identifying or defining clausesAlso known as non-identifying or non-defining clauses
12 Restrictive (Essential) Adjective Clauses Examples:The soccer player who scored the goalis from Liverpool.The girl that borrows my bookis my cousin.The district where I live is near thepost office.
13 Non- Restrictive (Non-Essential) Adjective Clauses Examples:Ms. Tan, who is my English tutor, went to Korea last winter.My dog, which is barking, is in the backyard.William decided to reject the offer, which upset his manager.
14 Compare Restrictive & Non-restrictive Clauses 1. My brother who lives in Bukit Timah is an accountant.This sentence suggests that I have more thanone brother. “Who lives in Bukit Timah” identifiesthis brother, not the one who lives in Clementi.2. My brother, who lives in Bukit Timah, is an accountant.This sentence suggests that I only have one brother,“who lives in Bukit Timah”.
15 Which is logically correct? 1. My father, who is a taxi driver, doesn’t like to exercise.2. My father who is a taxi driver doesn’t like to exercise.
16 Answer1. My father, who is a taxi driver, doesn’t like to exercise. (Correct!)2. My father who is a taxi driver doesn’t like to exercise. (This suggests you have more than one father!)
17 Which is logically correct? Situation: You have 3 sisters and you have already made that clear in preceding sentences. One is a doctor, one an air stewardess, and one a model.1. My sister who is a doctor is not married.2. My sister, who is a doctor, is not married.
18 Answer1. My sister who is a doctor is not married. (Correct! This tells which sister , so it’s identifying.) 2. My sister, who is a doctor, is not married. (Identifying information should not have commas around it.)
19 Which is correct?1. Paul Smith who is an excellent researcher is from England. 2. Paul Smith, who is an excellent researcher , is from England.
20 Answer1. Paul Smith who is an excellent researcher is from England. (Note that proper nouns are considered already identified, so the adjective clause needs commas.) 2. Paul Smith, who is an excellent researcher , is from England. (Correct!)
21 Which is correct? The wind, that is howling, is making me nervous. The wind, which is howling, is making me nervous.
22 Answer The wind, that is howling, is making me nervous. (Never use commas with a “that” clause.)2. The wind, which is howling, is making me nervous.(Correct!)
25 Essential adjective clauses Are necessary for identification—tell exactly which thing or personDo not use commasExample: My teacher is awesome. My teacher majored in English.My teacher who majored in English is awesome.
26 With your partner: combine these main clauses into a sentence with an essential adverb clause. Underline the adverb clause and circle the subordinating conjunction.The pentathlon is one of the oldest Olympic events/It is still part of Olympic gamesA pentathlete had to run, jump, and throw well/He was the most admired athlete in the ancient Greek gamesAll children learned these skills/The children lived in Athens or SpartaAristotle praised pentathletes/Pentathletes were the most well-rounded athletesThe pentathlon had five events/It required both upper- and lower-body strength.
27 How’d you do? __________________________________________ _____________________________________________2. ___________________________________________3. ___________________________________________4. ___________________________________________5. ___________________________________________
28 Non-essential adjective clauses are interesting with extra information -but don’t identify or tell “which one”ALWAYS have commas around clauseExample: My teacher is trying to teach me grammar. My teacher is in room 405.My teacher, who is trying to teach me grammar, is in room 405.
29 On your own: combine these main clauses into a sentence with a non-essential adverb clause. Underline the adverb clause and circle the subordinating conjunction.One events required throwing the discus/The discus is a heavy, rounded stoneThe pentahlete faced the stade (track) races/Stade races demand sprinting speedA competitor might eventually become a soldier/The Spartans rewarded competitorsThe pentathlon reflected the culture of Sparta/The Spartan highly valued war.The modern Olympic pentathlon includes riding a horse, fencing, shooting, swimming, and running/The modern Olympic pentathlon is also based on military skills
30 How’d you do? __________________________________________ _____________________________________________7. ___________________________________________8. ___________________________________________9. ___________________________________________10. __________________________________________
32 Give examples of the following Adjective clause beginning with whoNounAdjective clause beginning with whereAdjective clause beginning with thatAdverb clause beginning with sinceAdverb clause beginning with whileAdjectiveAdverb clause beginning with beforeAdverb clause beginning with whoAdverb clause beginning with becauseIndependent clause using “he” as the subject.Independent clause using “he” as the subjectAdjective clause using “who”Adverb clause beginning with “while”
33 Give examples of the following Adverb clause beginning with as soon asIndependent clause with birthday girl as the subject.Adverb clause beginning with becauseNounAdjective clause beginning with whichAdjective clause beginning with whoIndependent clauseAdverb clause beginning with althoughAdverb clause beginning with ifAdverb clause beginning with since
34 Dear Director: I would like to recommend my friend, (1)________________, for the job of assistant to the (2)______________ in your camp (3)___________________. He has just graduated from a school (4)____________________and earned a degree (5)_________________. He has had experience teaching (6)_____________ how to play the banjo (7)_________________. He is ambitious and (8) ______________. During school vacations, he used to work delivering (9)___________________. He is a loyal person (10)______________________and will make a very good counselor (11)_______________________ and (12)____________________. (13)_______________________. I promise you that this man (14)____________________ will make great counselor for your camp.
35 The party was over (16)___________________________ The party was over (16)___________________________. (17)_____________________________________. (18)________________________________, she decided not to open her presents. That was too bad because I had bought her a (19)__________________. The cake (20)_________________________________ (21)_______________________________ was never even brought out to the table. The guests (22)______________________________ were told to go home, and (23)_________________________________. (24)________________________________________, everyone still seemed to have a good time. I guess a party is still a party even (25)________________________________. I’m looking forward to the next birthday party
36 ReferencesCain, J. S. (2003).Eye on Editing 2: Developing Editing Skills for Writing. New York: Pearson EducationBrizee. A. (Ed.). (2009). Relative Pronouns. OWL Materials. Retrieved September 1, 2009, from
37 Web resourcesOn how to use a relative clause (also links on the page on defining/restrictive) and non-defining/non-restrictive relative clauses)A grammar website on relative clauses giving all the details of relative clauses and provide exercises. If you want to know relative clauses inside out, visit:
38 Videos on Relative Clauses On defining relative clauses (with movie clips)Distinguish the use of “who” and “whom” in a relative clause
39 Powerpoint developed by Irene Tan. Used with Permission Proofread and revised by Yang Ying