Adjective clauses are dependent clauses that give information about nouns. They allow you to combine two sentences into one by using relative pronouns (who, whom, whose, where, when, which, that, and why) as connectors.
The pronoun “who” is used for people as subjects.
“My friend missed the lecture.” + “She borrowed Sam’s notes to review.” → “My friend who missed the lecture borrowed Sam’s notes to review.”
The pronoun“whom” is used for people as objects.
“The candidate won by a landslide.” + “Many people admire him.” → “The candidate whom many people admire won by a landslide.”
The pronoun “whose” is used to indicate possession.
“I admire Professor Brooks.” + “His books were stolen.” → “I admire Professor Brooks, whose books were stolen.”
The pronoun “that” is used for people, place, and things and introduces information necessary to explain a noun.
“I met a man on the bus today.” + “He works at the World Bank.” → “The man that I met on the bus today works at the World Bank.”
The pronoun “which“ is used for places, things and introduces extra information about an already specific noun.
NOTE: When an adjective clause provides extra information, it is set off by commas.
“My new car needs very little gas.” + “It was a gift from my son.” → “My new car, which was a gift from my son, needs very little gas.”
The pronouns “when” and “where“ are used to replace in which, on which, etc. “When” and “where” cannot be used to replace “which” by itself.
“July 25 was sad for me.” + “I left home on that day.” → “July 25, when (on which) I left home, was sad for me.”
“I have always wanted to visit the big house.” + “Julio lives in that house.” → “I have always wanted to visit the big house where (in which) Julio lives.”
The pronoun “why” usually introduces a noun clause.
“My cousin ran away.” + “I don’t know why.” → “I don’t know why my cousin ran away.”
Hailey | 2019
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