As a type of dependent or subordinate clause, adjective clauses consist of a relativizer followed by a clause that consists of a subject and a predicate. Sometimes the relativizer also functions as the subject. Relativizers are a type of subordinating conjunction. Relative pronouns and relative adverbs are both relativizers. Also known as relative clauses, adjective clauses perform adjectival functions.
In grammar, a noun phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. In addition to adjectives and nouns, adjective clauses most frequently function as noun phrase modifiers in English. Examples of adjective clauses as noun phrase modifiers include the following:
- The annoying dog that keeps barking belongs to the neighbors down the street.
- Calculus, which is my least favorite subject, was required for graduation.
- He who must not be named killed many witches and wizards.
- My aunt knows the woman whom you called last night.
- The man you dislike teaches several courses at the community college.
- My neighbors, whose roses you ran, party obnoxiously every weekend.
- Do you remember the time when you visited your great grandparents?
- The restaurant where we met was demolished last year.
Adjective Clause as Noun Phrase Modifier
This post was originally published on September 17, 2013 and updated on August 14, 2023.
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Kosur, Heather Marie. 2021. A Form-Function Description of the Grammar of the Modern English Language: Book 1 (Level 8). Rock Pickle Publishing.