All English SMA N 1 SLAWI

adjective clauses

Adjective Clauses in Complex Sentences

Source: English for The SLTA-Structure Reference Book II & III, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

An adjective clause is a clause that does the work of an adjective in a complex sentence. It modifies or adds information about a noun, pronoun or noun phrase in the sentence. An adjective clause is always a dependent clause.

Frame la. Wh- word/That as Subject in the Adjective Clause

COMPLEX SENTENCE

MAIN CLAUSE

ADJECTIVE CLAUSE

SUBJECT + VERB + ETC.

NOUN PRONOUN/ NOUN PHRASE

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

1

Do you know

the boy

who

is standing over there?

2

I mean

the one

that

is reading a magazine.

3

I want to discuss

the math problems

which

are assigned to us.

4

I’ll introduce you to

Agus,

who

is the best student in our school.

Frame Ib. Wh- word/That as Object as Object or Complement

COMPLEX SENTENCE

MAIN CLAUSE

ADJECTIVE CLAUSE

SUBJECT + VERB + ETC.

NOUN/ PRONOUN/ NOUN PHRASE

OBJECT/ COMPLE­MENT/ETC.

SUBJECT + PREDICATE

1

Isn’t he

the best student

(that)

we have in our school?

2

Do you see

the magazine

(which)

he is reading?

3

I mean

the student

(whom)

Dudung is talking to.

4

I want to return

his book,

which

I showed to you yesterday.

Usage

1. In each of the sentences above, an adjective clause is used to mo­dify a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. For example, in sentence 1 of Frame 1 the adjective clause ‘who is standing over there’ modifies the noun ‘boy’; in sentence 2, the adjective clause ‘that is reading a magazine’ modifies the pronoun (noun substitute) ‘one’, and in sentence 3, the adjective clause ‘which are assigned to us’ modifies the noun phrase ‘math problems’.

2. Unlike adjectives, an adjective clause always comes after the noun it modifies. The noun may be the object, subject, complement, etc. in the sentence. In the sentences in the above frames the nouns modified by the adjective clauses are the objects in the complex sentences.

Other examples:

(1) The boy who is reading a magazine is Agus.

(2) The book which I showed you yesterday belongs to him.

(3) He is the new third year student, who moved here last month.

3. In sentences (1) and (2), the adjective clause modifies the subject of the sentence: ‘who is reading a magazine’ modifies, ‘the boy’, and ‘which I showed you yesterday’ modifies ‘the book’. In sentence (3) the adjective clause ‘who moved here last month’ modifies the predicate complement ‘the new third year student’.

4. There are two types of adjective clauses: restrictive and non-restrictive.

a) A restrictive adjective clause distinguishes (Ind. membedakan) the noun it modifies from all other members of the same noun. It restricts the meaning of the noun. It says which particular person or thing.

In sentences 1 — 3 in Frames la and Ib above, the adjective clauses are restrictive.

In sentence 1, Frame la, the speaker is not asking about ‘just any boy’, but only about ‘the boy who is standing over there’. In sentence 3, Frame Ib, the speaker is not reffering to ‘any student’ but to ‘the student whom Dudung is talking to’. In sentence 1, Frame Ib, the speaker does not think that the boy is ‘the best of all students’, but only of ‘the students in their school’.

b) A restrictive adjective clause is introduced by a wh- word (who, whom, whose, which, when, where, why), or that. The word always functions as a sentence element in the adjective clause. It can be the subject (see Frame la), object (see sentences 1, 2 and 4 in Frame Ib), object of a preposition (see sentence 3 in Frame Ib) in the adjective clause.

5. In a restrictive adjective clause, the wh word or that can be omitted (see sentences 1-3 in Frame la).

a) A non-restrictive adjective clause does not restrict the meaning of the noun it modifies. It gives further informa­tion about the noun.

In sentences 4 in Frame la and Ib the adjective clauses are non-restrictive.

In sentence 4, Frame la, the adjective clause does not distinguish the boy from other boys. What distinguishes him is the name ‘Agus’. The adjective clause adds informa­tion about ‘Agus’. In sentence 4, Frame Ib, the adjective clause does not say which book the speaker wants to return. The word ‘his’ tells which book he means. The adjective clause gives further information about ‘his book’.

Those two sentences will still give complete information if the adjective clauses are omitted.

b) A non-restrictive adjective clauses is introduced by a wh- word only. The wh- word may be the subject (see sentence 4, Frame la), object (see sentence 4, Frame Ib), or com­plement in the adjective clause.

In a non-restrictive clause, the wh- word cannot be omitted.

c) In writing, a non-restrictive clause is always separated from the noun it modifies by a comma (see sentences 4 above). If the non-restrictive clause is in the middle of the complex sentence it is separated by two commas.

Examples:

(1) Agus, who is the best student in our school, is talking to Dudung.

(2) The new student, to whom Dudung is talking, is over there.

Note:

The absence or presence of commas with an ‘adjective clause changes the meaning of a sentence.

Examples:

(1) The new student to whom Dudung is talking is over there.

(2) The new student, to whom Dudung is talking, is over there.

Sentence (1) states that there are probably more than one new student in the school, and the adjective clause explains which new student the writer means. Sentence (2) says that probably there is only one new student, and he is known to the writer as well as the reader.

6. Two sentences which make statements about the same person or thing can be combined into a complex sentence by changing one of the sentence into an adjective clause.

Such sentences are combined as follows:

a) If the sentence which is to be changed into an adjective clause has a subject which refers to a noun or noun phrase in the other sentence, the subject is replaced by whs? for persons or which for things, and the resulting adjective clause is put in the other sentence after the noun that the original subject referred to.

If the adjective clause is restrictive, the word that can also be used instead of who or which.

Example:

The boy is a new student. He is standing over there.

‘He’ refers to ‘the boy’.

‘He’ is replaced by ‘who’.

The resulting adjective clause ‘who is standing over there’ is put after ‘the boy’.

The complex sentence is:

The boy who is standing over there is a new student.

Since the adjective clause is restrictive that can be used instead of who:

The boy that is standing over there is a new student.

Other examples:

RESTRICTIVE:

Ani showed Mila a book. It belongs to Agus.

Ani showed Mila a book which belongs to Agus.

Ani showed Mila a book that belongs to Agus.

NON RESTRICTIVE:

(1) Agus is a new student. He is the best student in our school.

Agus, who is the best student in our school, is a new student.

(2) Our school has many students. It is a good school.

Our school, which is a good school, has many students.

b) If the sentence which is to be changed into an adjective clause has an object which refers to a noun or noun phrase in the other sentence, the object is replaced by whom for persons or which for things, and put at the beginning of the adjective clause. The resulting adjective clause is put after the noun it modifies. If the clause is restrictive, that can be used instead of whom or which, or the word may be omitted.

Examples:

RESTRICTIVE:

(1) The boy is a new student. Mila introduced him to Ani.

The boy whom Mila introduced to Ani is a new student.

The boy that Mila introduced to Ani is a new student.

The boy Mila introduced to Ani is a new student.

(2) The book belongs to Agus. I showed it to you yesterday.

The book which I showed to you yesterday belongs to Agus.

The book that I showed to you yesterday belongs to Agus.

The book / showed to you yesterday belongs to Agus.

NON-RESTRICTIVE:

That boy is a new student. Mila knows him.

> That boy, whom Mila knows, is a new student.

If the sentence which is to be changed into an adjective clause has a preposition before the word ‘which refers to a noun or noun phrase in the other sentence, the word is replaced by whom for persons or which for things, and put at the beginning of the adjective clause. That can also be used if the adjective clause is restrictive. If whom or which is used, the preposition can come before it.

Examples:

(1) I know the boy. Dudung is talking to him.

I know the boy to whom Dudung is talking.

I know the boy whom Dudung is talking to.

I know the boy that Dudung is talking to.

(2) The math problems are difficult. We want to ask Agus about them.

The math problems about which we want to ask Agus are difficult.

The math problems which we want to ask Agus about are difficult.

The math problems that we want to ask Agus about are difficult.

Note:

1) If a preposition (usually at, in or to} and which express place, they can be replaced by where.

Example:

The school to which Ani and Mila go has many students.

The school where Ani and Mila go has many students.

2) If a preposition (usually at, in, on or during) and which express time, they can be -replaced by when.

Example:

The year during which they will graduate is 1972.

The year when they will graduate is 1972.

d) If the sentence which is to be changed into an adjective clause has a possessive adjective which refers to a noun or noun phrase in the other sentence, the possessive is replaced by whose. ‘Whose’ and the word it modifies is put at the beginning of the adjective clause.

Examples:

(1) The boy is a new student. I showed his book to you yesterday.

The boy whose book I showed to you yesterday is a new student.

(2) The book is about science. Its cover is interesting.

The book whose cover is interesting is about science.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS FOR ADJECTIVE (RELATIVE) CLAUSES

By Sunarto

Position In Adjective Clauses

for RESTRICTIVE Adjective clauses

for NON RESTRICTIVE

Adjective clauses

Persons

Subjective

who, that

who

Objective

whom, that, who,

whom

Possessive

whose

whose

Things

Subjective

which, that

which

Objective

which, that,

which

Possessive

whose, of which

whose, of which

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