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Using Adjective Clauses as Noun Clause Modifiers

As a type of dependent or subordinate clause, adjective clauses 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 noun clause modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a noun clause. Adjective clauses sometimes function as noun clause modifiers in English. Only which adjective clauses function as noun clause modifiers. Examples of adjective clauses as noun modifiers include the following:

  • That the museum cancelled the lecture, which is quite surprising, disappoints me.
  • For you to not graduate from college now, which would be such as shame, is out of the question.
  • That she worked hard for the whole term, which still amazes me, pleased her parents.
  • How the clouds drifted on that July afternoon, which still makes me smile, may never happen again.
  • Do you know when the train should arrive, which is something I should know?
  • The assessment committee announced the problem us refusing to try new procedures, which is an ongoing challenge.


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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