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Using Adjective Clauses as Prepositional Phrase Modifiers

Adjective clauses, which are a type of dependent or subordinate clause, consist of a relative pronoun followed by a clause that consists of a subject and a predicate. Also known as relative clauses, adjective clauses perform adjectival functions.

In grammar, a prepositional phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a prepositional phrase. Adjective clauses sometimes function as prepositional phrase modifiers of prepositional phrases performing nominal functions in English. Only which adjective clauses function as prepositional phrase modifiers. Examples of adjective clauses as prepositional phrase modifiers include the following:

  • Behind the machine shed, which is overgrown with weeds, needs mowed.
  • Between seven and nine, which is a reasonable time frame, is when employees must arrive.
  • In the closest, which is quite dark, is rather scary.
  • After six, which is usually also after dinner, is a good time to call.
  • You must clean under the bed, which is covered with dust bunnies.
  • His brother is painting along the ceiling, which is ragged and uneven.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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