How can you provide more information about a noun in your sentence? Adjective clauses are great for explaining more about your nouns, and they help you vary your sentence structure. Take a look at these adjective clause examples and how they function in different types of sentences.
What Are Adjective Clauses?
You’re probably already familiar with adjectives. They modify nouns and pronouns, providing a description or information. Adjective clauses, or relative clauses, are groups of words that contain a subject and a verb and provide further description.
Adjective clauses begin with relative pronouns, including:
They may also begin with relative adverbs, such as:
Seems simple enough, right? Let’s dive right into some different adjective clause examples. As soon as you see adjective clauses in action, you’ll be able to spot them from a mile away.
Adjective Clauses in Action
Adjective clauses don’t usually change the basic meaning of a sentence; they just add more information. Check out these adjective clause sentences with the adjective clause bolded.
- Pizza, which most people love, is not very healthy.
- Those people whose names are on the list will go to camp.
- Grandpa remembers the old days when there was no television.
- Fruit that is grown organically is expensive.
- Students who work hard get good grades.
- Eco-friendly cars, which primarily run on electricity, help the environment.
- I know someone whose father served in World War II.
- The slurping noise, which is incredibly annoying, is the main reason Sue does not like to eat soup with her brother.
- The kids who were called first will have the best chance of getting a seat.
- I enjoy telling people about Janet Evanovich, whose latest book was fantastic.
- The store where the new phone was being sold had a huge line of people outside it.
- "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead." - Albert Einstein
- “Those who do not complain are never pitied.” - Jane Austen
- “People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.” - Søren Kierkegaard
- “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” - Erma Bombeck
Non-essential adjective clauses (clauses that can be removed without affecting the reader's understanding) need to be set off with a comma. Sentences with essential adjective clauses don't make sense if you remove them, and they are not offset by commas.
Reducing Adjective Clauses to Phrases
An adjective clause that has a subject pronoun (which, that or who) can also be shortened into an adjective phrase.
How to Shorten an Adjective Clause
You can shorten an adjective clause in two ways:
- Omit the subject pronoun and verb.
- Omit the subject pronoun and change the verb so it ends in -ing.
Examples of Adjective Clauses Turned Into Adjective Phrases
Explore some adjective clause examples to help you create an adjective phrase:
- Adjective Clause - The books that were borrowed from class must be returned.
- Adjective Phrase - The books borrowed from class must be returned.
- Adjective Clause - The girl who is leading the parade is my best friend.
- Adjective Phrase - The girl leading the parade is my best friend.
- Adjective Clause - His share of the money, which consisted of $100,000, was given to him on Monday.
- Adjective Phrase - His share of the money, consisting of $100,000, was given to him on Monday.
- Adjective Clause - Something that smells bad may be rotten.
- Adjective Phrase - Something smelling bad may be rotten.
Be Descriptive With Adjective Clauses
The goal of an adjective clause is to add more information to a noun or a pronoun. Include a longer adjective clause or tighten up a sentence by turning the adjective clause into an adjective phrase. Learn more about the difference between phrase vs. clause before you write your next paper. Or, if you're interested in more types of clauses, check out these examples of noun clauses and how to use them.