Adjective Clauses Explanation and Practice What is an Adjective? • An Adjective describes a noun. Which words are adjectives? unkind unkind Remember nouns can either be subjects, objects or objects of prepositions. fast fast value value careless careless silently silently old old What is an Adjective Clause? • An Adjective clause is a dependent clause (dependent word + subject and verb) that describes a noun. • You can imagine that an adjective clause is taking two sentences about the same noun and making them into one sentence. Examples: Examples: TheRoute 66 isshows aroad. postcard a long beautiful vista of the Grecian coastline. This road goes from Chicago to California. I bought the postcard. Route 66 is a long road that goes from Chicago to TheCalifornia. which I bought shows a beautiful vista of the postcard Grecian coastline. Subject Relative Pronouns • We use relative pronouns to create dependent clauses. • The relative pronoun replaces the word in common between the two sentences. • Sometimes, the relative pronoun will be the subject of the dependent clause. Examples: Subject Relative Pronouns Route 66 is a long road. Who or That People: This road goes from Animals: Which or That Things or Chicago to California. Route 66 is a longPossessive:goes from Chicago to road that Whose California. Object Relative Pronouns • Sometimes, the relative pronoun will replace the object in the dependent clause or the object of a preposition. • To connect this type of clause, the relative pronoun must be moved to the front of the clause – in front of the subject. Examples: Object Relative Pronouns The postcardPeople:a beautiful vista That Grecian shows Whom, Who or of the coastline. Things or Animals: Which or That I bought the postcard. Possessive: Whose The postcard which I bought shows a beautiful vista of the Grecian coastline. Things to Remember • The relative pronoun replaces the noun – don’t use it and the noun in the dependent clause. – Example: • The postcard is pretty. I bought the postcard. Incorrect: The postcard which I bought the postcard is pretty. Correct: The postcard which I bought is pretty. • The relative pronoun must be next to the word it describes. – Example: • Incorrect: The sharks opened their mouths while they swam by the boat which were full of sharp teeth. • Correct: The sharks opened their mouths which were full of sharp teeth while they swam by the boat. Things to Remember • Formal written English: In formal, academic English in adjective clauses with object relative pronouns, for people, we use whom. In adjective clauses with an object of a preposition, bring the preposition forward and use whom or which. – Example: Jack London, whom I admire, wrote a lot of short stories. • Rather than: Jack London, who I admire, wrote a lot of short stories. – Example: The presidency is the position to which many politicians aspire. • Rather than: The presidency is the position that many politicians aspire to. • You must understand whether or not the dependent clause is essential information or extra information in the understanding of the noun. This impacts the meaning and the punctuation. • Essential clauses are also called identifying or restrictive. We DO NOT use commas with these clauses. • Extra clauses are also called non-identifying or non-restrictive. WE MUST use commas with these clauses. We cannot use the relative pronoun that. Things to Remember Things to Remember • Can you understand a difference between these two sentences? – My sister, who lives in Bel Air, has three children. – My sister who lives in Bel Air has three children. • In which sentence is it clear that I have more than one sister? •What about between these two sentences? •He looked in the refrigerator, and he threw away the food which was rotten. •He looked in the refrigerator, and he threw away the food, which was rotten. In which sentence is all of the food in the refrigerator rotten? Identifying vs. Non-Identifying • Think about if a listener or reader would be able to identify the noun without the adjective clause. Example: He is the man who works at the grocery store. This is essential (identifying) information. Think about it as two sentences. He is a man. He works at the grocery store. Without the second sentence, you couldn’t identify him. Notice that a become the because the noun changes from indefinite to definite because of the identification. Identifying vs. Non-Identifying • Think about if a listener or reader would be able to identify the noun without the adjective clause. Example: Maria, who works as a physician’s assistant, enjoys her job. Maria enjoys her job. Maria works as a physician’s assistant. This is extra (non-identifying) information. Think about it as two sentences. You know her name from the first sentence. This is enough to identify her.