Adjective Clauses and Phrases Examples

What is an Adjective Clause? Definition, Examples of Adjectival Clauses in English

As an Adjective Clause in a Complex Sentence is a Subordinate Clause which does the work of an Adjective, so it qualifies same Noun or Pronoun in the Main Clause.

An Adjective Clause is introduced by a Relative Pronoun or by a Relative Adverb; as,

The pen that I bought is lost.

The boy who is lazy deserves punishment.

The boy whose book was lost was punished.

The book of which the leaves were tom was thrown away.

The time when the Governor will arrive is known to all.

The station where the collision occurred is near Delhi.

The reason why he resigned is not known.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Lai Bahadur Shastri, who became the Prime Minister of India, was bom in a poor family.

We were shown the hut in which Gandhiji used to live.

The Relative Pronoun or the Relative Adverb is sometimes not expressed in an Adjective Clause; as,

  1. The plan you propose is a very good one.

[Here the Relative Pronoun that is understood.]

  1. This is the man I want.

[Here the Relative Pronoun that is understood.]

  1. There was not a man in England A could do it.

[Here the Relative Pronoun who is understood.]

  1. At the time A these words were written we were abroad.

[Here the Relative Adverb when is understood.]

  • The word but is sometimes equivalent to a Relative Pronoun followed by not. It then introduces an Adjective Clause; as,
  1. There was not a man in the country but thought so.

[That is, who did not think so.]

  1. There was not a boy in the class but answered my question.

[That is, who did not answer my question.]

  1. Nor was there a man in India but loved Mahatma Gandhi.

[That is, who did not love Mahatma Gandhi.]

  • Sometimes than is used as a Preposition before a Relative Pronoun to introduce an Adjective Clause; as
  1. He is a person than whom no one is a better judge.
  2. They made Raman captain than whom no better boy could be found.
  3. We came to a village than which my eyes had not seen a lovelier.
  • Sometimes, however, a Relative Pronoun introduces a Co-ordinate. Clause; as,

I met your servant, who told me of your failure.

In this sentence, we cannot say that the Relative Pronoun who introduces a Subordinate Clause (that, is an Adjective Clause) for the Clause, who told me of your failure, does not in any way identify or describe, the servant. Here, the Relative Pronoun is used to introduce a co-ordinate clause as,

I met your servant who — {and he] told me of your failure.

  • Study the following sentences in which who and which are used to introduce Co-ordinate Clauses:
  1. I met Mr. Huda, who [=and he] gave me your message.
  2. He gave me some advice, which [=and it] is very helpful.
  3. He beat his dog, which [=and it] howled with pain.

Exercise 115: Pick out each Adjective Clause in the following sentences and say which Noun or Pronoun in the Main Clause it qualifies.

  1. This is the house that Jack built.
  2. God helps those who help themselves.
  3. Time which is lost is lost for ever.
  4. The place where the collision took place has been discovered.
  5. He that is full of pride is sure to fall.
  6. The reason why he failed to come is not known.
  7. This is the picture I want.
  8. I remember the house where I was born.
  9. He gave me all the help I wanted.
  10. There is no theatre but has one vacant seat.
  11. There was not a woman present but wept to hear such sad news.
  12. The lawyer I consulted gave me some useful advice.
  13. All that glitters is not gold.
  14. And not a soldier of the three hundred but died at his post.
  15. They also sen/e who only stand and wait.

Exercise 116: Supply suitable Adjective Clauses.

  1. God helps those_______________________________ .
  2. Any man__________________________ can become rich.
  3. This is the book_______________________________ .
  4. I remember the house _______________________________ .
  5. They never fail________________________________
  6. You must not drink the water _______________________________
  7. He tells a tale _________________________________ .
  8. He always likes to read a book ________________________ .
  9. We all admire a man__________________________________ .
  10. It’s an ill wind __________________________________.

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