Adjective Clause

What Is an Adjective Clause? (with Examples)

When we think of an adjective, we usually think about a single word used before a noun to modify its meanings (e.g., tall building, smelly cat, argumentative assistant). However, an adjective can also come in the form of an adjective clause.

An adjective clause usually comes after the noun it modifies and is made up of several words which, like all clauses, will include a subject and a verb.

Examples of Adjective Clauses

Here are some examples of adjective clauses:

The Components of an Adjective Clause

An adjective clause (which can also be called an adjectival clause or a relative clause) will have the following three traits: Look at the three traits in this example:

Quite often, the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause. Look at the three traits in this example:

The Relative Pronoun Can Be Omitted

It is common for the relative pronoun to be omitted. Look at these examples: This is not always possible though:

Commas or No Commas around an Adjective Clause?

The big question with an adjective clause is whether to offset it with commas or not. The rule is this: This is a good test: If you would happily put brackets around it or delete it, then use commas.

Here is an example of a non-restrictive clause:

Compare this to a restrictive clause:

A Quick Test

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See Also

What are relative adverbs What are adjectives? What are nouns? What is a clause? What does modify mean? What is a relative pronoun? What is a relative adverb? What is a restrictive clause? What is a non-restrictive clause?