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Using Adjective Clauses as Verb 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 verb phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a verb or verb phrase. Adjective clauses sometimes function as verb phrase modifiers of verbs in the form of present participles performing nominal functions in English. Only which adjective clauses function as verb phrase modifiers. Examples of adjective clauses as verb phrase modifiers include the following:

  • Reading, which is one of my favorite past times, keeps the mind sharp.
  • Washing the windows, which still needs completed, occurs every Wednesday morning.
  • Dusting, which I loath, must be finished before vacuuming, which I enjoy.
  • I enjoy writing about language, which I do almost every single day.
  • Hunting tigers, which many people still consider sport, should be outlawed internationally.
  • The hardest part about learning grammar, which I thoroughly enjoy, is memorizing all the rules.
  • Despite our missing the train, which happened because of a traffic jam, we arrived on time.
  • Some students despite writing critical essays, which is a huge part of many classes.


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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