A clause is a group of words that contains a subject as well as a predicate. In grammar, clauses are grouped into two main types based on their function. Independent clauses and dependent clauses are these two types. Independent clauses are the clauses that express a complete thought and stand alone as sentences. Dependent Clauses are the clauses that cannot express a complete idea. Dependent clauses are also known as subordinate clauses. They can be mainly divided into three categories based on their functions. They are noun clauses, adjective clauses, and adverbial clause. In this article, we are going to talk about the adjective clause.
What is Adjective Clause
An adjective clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adjective. Like any adjective, an adjective clause can modify or describe a noun or pronoun. An adjective noun begins with a relative pronoun (that, which, who, whose, whom) or relative adverb(when, where, or why). Adjective clauses are also known as relative clauses.
The car that he is driving belongs to his mother.
The man whose daughter has cancer got a loan from the bank.
Examples of Adjective Clauses
The woman who stole my purse was arrested yesterday.
She will never forget the day that she got married.
Mina, who couldn’t swim, jumped into the water to save the little girl.
The man whose wife won the lottery is pretty excited.
Her mother, who loves painting, joined an art class.
The students who score less than 50% will fail the exam.
It is important to note that removing the relative pronoun that does not affect the meaning or structure of the sentence.
She will never forget the day that she got married.→ She will never forget the day she got married.
In the above sentences, some clauses are set off by commas whereas some are not. This is because the use of commas depends on the type of information presented by the relative clause. We’ll discuss this punctuation rule in the following section.
Punctuation with Adjective Clauses
Clauses that add non-essential or additional information are separated from the main clause by the use of commas. The clauses that add non-essential information are called non-defining relative clauses or nonrestrictive clauses.
This brick house, which belonged to the Andersons, was bought by Mr. Sampson.
Mary, who loves to sleep, decided to get up early in the morning.
Clauses that add essential information are not separated from the main clause by commas. The clauses that add essential information are called defining relative clauses or restrictive clauses.
The boy who broke your window is here to apologize.
The dog that belongs to your neighbor is digging my backyard.
Adjective Clause – Summary
- An adjective clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adjective.
- An adjective noun begins with a relative pronoun or relative adverb and is also known as a relative clause.
- Adjective clauses that add non-essential information are set off from the main clause by commas whereas adjective clauses that add essential information are not.