Thursday, January 27, 2011

The adjective clause

dependent clause:
  1. Has a subject.
  2. Has a verb.
  3. Is not a complete sentence without an accompanying independent clause.
There are three types of dependent clauses (also called subordinate clauses):

  1. The noun clause.
  2. The adverb clause.
  3. The adjective clause (also called the relative clause).
The adjective clause (relative clause)
  1. Modifies the noun it immediately follows.
  2. State of being verbs and pronouns in the adjective clause must agree with their antecedent from the main clause (independent clause).
  3. Starts with a relative pronoun or relative adverb:
    1. who [n]
    2. whom [n]
    3. whose [n]
    4. which [n] (used in a nonrestrictive relative clause, see below)
    5. that [n] (used in a restrictive relative clause, see below)
    6. when [adv]
    7. where [adv]
    8. why [adv] (typically follows the word "reason")
    9. Caution: Some of the words above can be invisible. In other words, they are implied but may not actually appear in the sentence. Nice, huh?
  4. Can be completely removed from the sentence without affecting the meaning of the sentence.
  5. Have very particular comma rules:
    1. A restrictive clause narrows a general noun to someone or something more specific than the noun itself reveals; do not use commas. 
    2. A nonrestrictive clause comments on a proper noun or other specific noun; use commas.
    3. Don't confuse a nonrestrictive relative clause with an appositive.

The musician who was playing the trumpet sounded terrible.
John, who was playing the trumpet, sounded terrible
His car, which was yellow, was a Toyota Prius.
The car that was yellow was a Toyota Prius.

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