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adjective clause


adjective clause

There are two adjective clauses in the opening sentence of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)


A dependent clause used as an adjective within a sentence. Also known as an adjectival clause or a relative clause.

An adjective clause usually begins with a relative pronoun (which, that, who, whom, whose), a relative adverb (where, when, why), or a zero relative.

See also:



"There are two basic types of adjective clauses.

"The first type is the nonrestrictive or nonessential adjective clause. This clause simply gives extra information about the noun. In the sentence, 'My older brother's car, which he bought two years ago, has already needed many repairs,' the adjective clause, 'which he bought two years ago,' is nonrestrictive or nonessential. It provides extra information.

"The second type is the restrictive or essential adjective clause. It offers essential [information] and is needed to complete the sentence's thought. In the sentence, 'The room that you reserved for the meeting is not ready,' the adjective clause, 'that you reserved for the meeting,' is essential because it restricts which room."
(Jack Umstatter, Got Grammar? Wiley, 2007)


  • "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead."
    (Albert Einstein)

  • "Creatures whose mainspring is curiosity enjoy the accumulating of facts far more than the pausing at times to reflect on those facts."
    (Clarence Day)

  • "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh."
    (W. H. Auden)

  • "Short, fat, and of a quiet disposition, he appeared to spend a lot of money on really bad clothes, which hung about his squat frame like skin on a shrunken toad."
    (John le Carré, Call for the Dead, 1961)

  • "Love, which was once believed to contain the Answer, we now know to be nothing more than an inherited behavior pattern."
    (James Thurber)

  • "The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
    (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

  • "The IRS spends God knows how much of your tax money on these toll-free information hot lines staffed by IRS employees, whose idea of a dynamite tax tip is that you should print neatly."
    (Dave Barry)

  • "On I trudged, past the carefully roped-off breeding grounds of terns, which chirruped a warning overhead."
    (Will Self, "A Real Cliff Hanger," 2008)

  • "My brother, who was normally quite an intelligent human being, once invested in a booklet that promised to teach him how to throw his voice."
    (Bill Bryson, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Broadway Books, 2006)

  • "It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo."
    (P.G. Wodehouse, Cocktail Time, 1958)

  • "Afterwards, in the dusty little corners where London's secret servants drink together, there was argument about where the Dolphin case history should really begin."
    (John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, 1977)

  • "The man who first abused his fellows with swear words, instead of bashing their brains out with a club, should be counted among those who laid the foundations of civilization."
    (John Cohen, 1965)
Also Known As: relative clause, adjectival clause
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