Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses. They come after nouns and modify them. In other words, they tell the listener or reader more about the person or thing that the noun refer to. The pronouns that often begin adjective clauses are called relative pronouns ( that, which, who, whom, whose, where)
A person who sweeps the floor on buildings is known as janitor.
A person who sails is a sailor.
The man who sold the red house is a friend of mine.
2. Reducing Adjective clauses to adjective phrases
If the subject relative pronoun is followed by the verb be in any tense, both the relative pronoun and the verb be can be omitted.
The realtor who is selling the house is Ann. The realtor who is selling the house is Ann.
The garment that is worn by priests is usually white. The garment that is worn by priests is usually white.
3. Relative pronouns as object
The object relative pronouns for people are who, whom, that. Whom is more formal than who. The object relative pronouns for things are which, that.
The candidate who more votes gets become the president.
The first time that I voted was in 1982.
You may omit the relative pronoun in restricted adjective clauses.
The first time I voted was in 1982.
4. Restricted/Nonrestricted Relative clauses
The two main types of adjective clauses--restrictive and nonrestrictive-- have distinct meanings and uses.
A restrictive adjective clause gives information that helps to uniquely identify the noun that it describes.
My sister who attends for the meeting is very shy. (I have two sisters. One attends for the meeting, the other does not)
A Nonrestrictive adjective clause, on the other hand, adds extra information about the noun it modifies. This information is not necessary to identify the noun.
Mary, who attends for the meeting, is very shy.
|Noun in main Clause ||Relative Clause ||Rest of main Clause |
|The man ||who called ||is an old friend of mine. |
|The woman ||whom I met ||lives near my house |
|The letter ||that Mary received ||was very important. |
|The book ||which we discussed ||was a best-seller. |
|The writer ||whose book we discussed ||will visit with us next week.|