Adjective Clause

Adjective Clause

Look at the group of words in the following sentences.

• The umbrella with broken handles is mine.
• The umbrella which has broken handles is mine.

In the first sentence the group of words ‘with broken handle’ describes the umbrella.

This group of words is called the adjective-phrase.

In the second sentence, the group of words ‘which has broken handles’ describes the umbrella and does the work of an adjective. But here this group of words has its own subject and a predicate such as a clause.

So this kind of clause which does the work of an adjective is called ADJECTIVE-CLAUSE.

Adjective-clause is a group of words which contains a Subject and a Predicate of its own and does the work of an adjective.


In the following sentences, the Adjective Clauses have been colored blue.

• The letter brought badly needed money.
• The letter brought money which was badly needed.

• I met a girl with blue eyes.
• I met a girl whose eyes are blue.

• He told us his arrival time.
• He told us when he would arrive.

• We admire the courageous men.
• We admire the men who are courageous.

• I have box filled with almonds.
• I have box which is filled with almonds.


• He laughs best who laughs last.

• It is long lane that has a no turning.

• Heaven helps those who help themselves.

• People who live in glass-houses should throw stones.

• He never does anything that is silly.

• They never fail who die for a great cause.

• He died in the village where he was born.

• He told a story that sounds untrue.

• I know the man who is tall.

• The house I live in belongs to my father.

The adjective-clauses can be replaced with adjective-phrases.

• Do you know the woman who is wearing a blue sari?

In this sentences, the adjective-clause ‘who is wearing a blue sari’ can be replaced with an adjective-phrase ‘wearing blue sari’.

• Do you know the woman wearing a blue sari?

Both these sentences convey the same meaning.


• The boy who sits near me is my cousin. (Adjective-Clause)
• The boy sitting near me is my cousin. (Adjective)

• That was reason why he came late. (Adjective-Clause)
• That was the reason for his coming late. (Adjective-Phrase)

• Men who have not trained to write become journalist. (Adjective-Clause)
• Men, not trained to write, become journalist. (Adjective-Phrase)

In this way, an adjective-clause can be replaced with an adjective-phrase or with an adjective.

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