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Adjective Clauses (#2), by Dennis Oliver

 

Using Adjective Clauses (#2):
Types of Adjective Clauses

 
Subject Pattern Clauses
 

There are several types of adjective (relative) clauses, each
with its own rules for form. One type is often referred to
as subject pattern clauses because in them, the relative
pronoun (the words introducing the clauses) are the
grammatical subjects of the clauses.

Examples:

1.  

A man spoke to us. The man was wearing
a green suit. --->

A man who (that*) was wearing a green suit
spoke to us.

The sentence with who has an adjective clause:
who was wearing a green suit. In the clause,
who is the subject. The clause modifies
(describes, explains, specifies) the subject of
the sentence: a man.

 
2.  

We hadn't met the man. The man was
wearing a green suit. --->

We hadn't met the man who (that*) was
wearing a green suit.

Again, the sentence with who has an adjective
clause: who was wearing a green suit. In
the clause, who is again the subject, but the
clause modifies the object of the main sentence:
the man.

     
3.  

The new car is parked outside. The new car
belongs to Bob. --->

The new car that (which*) is parked outside
belongs to Bob.

The sentence with that has an adjective clause:
that is parked outside. In the clause, that
is the subject., and the clause modifies the
subject of the main sentence: the new car.

     
4.  

I don't like the new car. The new car is
parked outside. --->

I don't like the new car that (which*) is
parked outside.

The sentence with that has an adjective clause:
that is parked outside. In the clause, that
is the subject, but the clause modifies the object
of the main sentence: the new car.

 

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Special Notes:

1.  

Adjective clauses come after the nouns that
they modify:

wrong: A man was wearing a green suit
who spoke to us.

right: A man who was wearing a green suit
spoke to us.

wrong: The new car belongs to Bob that is
parked outside.

right: The new car that is parked outside
belongs to Bob.

 
2.  

Do not use both a subject pronoun and
a relative pronoun:

wrong: A man who he was wearing a green
suit spoke to us.

right: A man who was wearing a green suit
spoke to us.

wrong: The new car that it is parked outside
belongs to Bob.

right: The new car that is parked outside
belongs to Bob.

     
3.   The relative pronouns who and that are used
to refer to people, but who is more common.
     
4.   The relative pronouns that and which are
used to refer to things, but that is more common.
     
5.   The relative pronoun that cannot be used
in nonrestrictive clauses (which will be
explained later).
     
6.   Adjective clauses are sometimes described
as dependent clauses because they make no
sense by themselves: they need the words of
the main sentences to which they are attached
in order to show complete thoughts.

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