Sentence Writing – Step 6 (Adjective Clauses)

Adjective Clauses

In this step we will focus on using adjective clauses.  Recall that a clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb as a minimum.  Like adjectives, adjective clauses are used to describe nouns or pronouns and answer one of three questions:  Which, What kind of, or how many. 
A relative clause often serves as an adjective clause.

Below:  Subject, verb, {adj clause}, [noun clause].  DO = direct object, PO = prepositional object

  1. The fact {that he came to the meeting} shows [that he is at least somewhat willing to participate].
    (“The fact that” is a common pattern in English that employs an adjective clause to explain which fact we are talking about.)
     
  2. He said [that he is unwilling to participate] despite the fact {that he came to the meeting}.
    Noun clause = DO
    Fact = PO of despite
    Adjective clause describes which fact.
     
  3. The boy {that you see talking to that girl} is my son.
    DO = son
     
  4. The day {when he comes to visit me} will be the day {that Hell freezes over}.
     
  5. This is the city {where I was born}.  This is the city {that I was born in}.
    Adjective clause describes which city.
     
  6. That was the time {when I first met my wife}.
    Adjective clause describes which time.
     
  7. The reason {why I came to see you} is to discuss the Peterson account.
    DO = account
    Adjective clause describes which reason.
     
  8. That table over there {which is cluttered with junk} will be your new workstation.
    DO = workstation
    Adjective clause describes which table.
     
  9. The one {who is responsible for this mess} is John.
     
  10. John is the one {who is responsible for this mess}.

Omission of Relative Pronouns

Recall that relative pronouns can often be (omitted) in certain cases, but they can always be included for clarity if desired.

  1. The fact {(that) he came to the meeting} shows [(that) he is at least somewhat willing to participate].
  2. He said [(that) he is unwilling to participate] despite the fact {(that) he came to the meeting}.
  3. The boy {(that) you see talking to that girl} is my son.
  4. The day {(when) he comes to visit me} will be the day {(that) Hell freezes over}.
  5. This is the city {(that) I was born in}.
  6. That was the time {(when) I first met my wife}.
  7. The reason {(why) I came to see you} is to discuss the Peterson account.
  8. That table over there {(which is) cluttered with junk} will be your new workstation.
  9. The one {(who is) responsible for this mess} is John.
  10. John is the one {(who is) responsible for this mess}.

Self-Assessment

Instructions:  Enclose all adjective clauses in braces { }.  Enclose all noun clauses in square brackets [ ].  Fill in any blanks with an appropriate word or words to complete the sense of the sentence.  Some sentences may not have an adjective clause.  Some relative pronouns may have been omitted (but are understood to be there).  Optionally, bold all subjects and verbs in all clauses.

  1. Paris, France, is the city where the Eiffel Tower is located.
  2. English is considered to be the lingua franca of the world, which is a great advantage for Americans.
  3. I’m going to murder whoever made a mess of the kitchen.
  4. The guy that messed up the kitchen is on my short list of people whom I dislike.
  5. July 4th, 1982, was the day my wife and I got married.
  6. During class is when you should ask deep probing questions.
  7. During class is the time when you should ask deep probing questions.
  8. She is the student that I like the most.
  9. The man who can pull the sword out of that stone is the man who is destined to become king.
  10. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.
  11. The birds _____ you see flying over the water are called pelicans.
  12. The morning after is _____ many “one-night-standers” often feel pangs of regret.
  13. Orlando is a city in Florida _____ you can see many interesting tourist attractions.
  14. Teacher Lee is the one _____ taught me this.
  15. That is the craziest idea _____ I have ever heard of.

4 comments

  1. The guy messed up the kitchen is on my short list of people I dislike.
    During class you should ask deep probing questions.
    During class is the time you should ask deep probing questions.
    She is the student I like the most.
    The man who can pull the sword out of that stone is the man destined to become king.

    I would remain the other sentences as they are. 

  2. Your answers don’t make sense for the questions, dear Irina.

    Still, I offer the following corrections:

    1. The guy who messed up the kitchen is on my short list of people I dislike.  (“who” is required here)
       
    2. I would leave the other sentences as they are. 

    NOTE: You can’t reply to a reply right now. Just leave a first-level reply.

    1.  Paris, France, is the city {where the Eiffel Tower is located}.
    2. English is considered to be the lingua franca of the world{, which is a great advantage for Americans}.
    3. I’m going to murder {whoever made a mess of the kitchen}.
    4. The guy {that messed up the kitchen} is on my short list of people {whom I dislike}.
    5. July 4th, 1982, was the day {(when)my wife and I got married}.
    6. During class is {when you should ask deep probing questions}.
    7. During class is the time {when you should ask deep probing questions}.
    8. She is the student {that I like the most}.
    9. The man {who can pull the sword out of that stone} is the man {who is destined to become king}.
    10. He {who lives by the sword} dies by the sword.
    1.  
    2.  
    3. I’m going to murder [whoever made a mess of the kitchen].  (DO; doesn’t describe I, going, or murder)
    4.  
    5.  
    6. During class is [when you should ask deep probing questions].   (subject = predicate; no describing here — equality instead; “is” equates to an equal sign; time = time.  See #7.)
    7.  
    8.  
    9.  
    10.  

    Very good, Ivan!  I added a noun clause (#3) and an adverb clause (#6) s to test you more deeply.

Leave a Reply