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Using Adjective Clauses as Noun Phrase Modifiers

As a type of dependent or subordinate clause, adjective clauses consist of a relative pronoun followed by a clause that consists of a subject and a predicate. Also known as relative clauses, adjective clauses perform adjectival functions.

In grammar, a noun phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. Adjective clauses most frequently function as noun phrase modifiers in English. Examples of adjective clauses as noun phrase modifiers include the following:

  • The annoying dog that keeps barking belongs to the neighbors down the street.
  • Calculus, which is my least favorite subject, was required for graduation.
  • He who must not be named killed many witches and wizards.
  • My aunt knows the woman whom you called last night.
  • The man you dislike teaches several courses at the community college.
  • My neighbors, whose roses you ran, party obnoxiously every weekend.
  • Do you remember the time when you visited your great grandparents?
  • The restaurant where we met was demolished last year.


Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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