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 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

• 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.

Go to the section on Adverb-Clause to continue

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