Relative pronouns are words that introduce adjective clauses.
who, whom, whose, that, which
Relative adverbs can also introduce adjective clauses.
where, why, when...
An adjective clause
is a subordinate clause that is used as an adjective. That means that the whole clause modifies a noun or pronoun.
* Get the coolest sentence diagramming ebook
around. Okay, it's the only sentence diagramming ebook around, but it's also very cool. *
Your Mini Lesson on Adjective Clauses
This is the green house.
is a word modifying the noun house
. It is an adjective. Now, look at this sentence.
This is the house that Jack built.
That Jack built
is a whole clause modifying the noun house
. That Jack built
is an adjective clause.
This is the house that Jack built.
Introductory Words - Relative Pronouns & Relative Adverbs
This is the park where we played.
Relative pronouns or relative adverbs link adjective clauses with the word in the independent clause that the adjective clause modifies.
The relative pronouns may act as a subject, direct object, object of the preposition, or a modifier within the adjective clause.
- Independent Clause = This is the house
- Dependent Adjective Clause = that Jack built
- Relative Pronoun = that
- Adjective Clause Is Modifying = house
Let's look at that sentence from above again. What is the relative pronoun's job in the adjective clause that Jack built
You can see from the diagram that it is acting as the direct object. Think of it as Jack built that
If the adjective clause is being introduced by a relative adverb, the relative adverb is simply acting as an adverb. It has no other function in the clause.
- Independent Clause = This is the park
- Dependent Adjective Clause = where we played
- Relative Adverb = where
- Adjective Clause Is Modifying = park
See these pages for more help:
Are you ready to diagram? You can do this! The answers are at the bottom of the page.
9.0 Diagramming Adjective Clauses
To diagram the following sentences, start by diagramming the independent clauses. Then, figure out which word in the independent clause the adjective clause is modifying. Diagram the adjective clause below the independent clause. Connect the two clauses with a dotted line stretching between the word introducing the adjective clause (relative pronoun or relative adverb) and the word in the independent clause that the adjective clause is modifying. See the examples above for help.
1. I love the person who cleaned the house!
2. Colin walked into the house that had been sold.
3. Are teachers who are extra nice paid double?
4. The boy with whom I spoke drew that picture.
5. Teachers whose students are motivated happily work overtime.
6. The presents, which were wrapped in blue and green paper, looked perfect!
7. The woman who looks so happy danced on the dance floor until the club closed.
8. I gave her the apple, which was sitting on the table.
9. Cathy, we should shop at the stores that have the best prices.
10. This book is dedicated to my husband, whom I love.
9.0 Diagramming Adjective Clauses Answers
5 - 10: These answers are only available in the Sentence Diagramming Exercises Ebook.
Get Your Hands On These Exercises
You'll learn grammar and diagramming with these short, simple lessons and exercises, and you'll find all of the answers in the back so that you can easily check your work.
When you're done with this book, you'll possess a powerful tool for using and understanding language.
You'll be able to write with clarity, and you'll actually enjoy grammar.
I find sentence diagramming fun, and my confidence is slowly but surely growing. I think I've missed out on a lot since my teachers never taught me this brilliant way of learning English when I was in school! I would definitely recommend my friends use this method.
- Carol, Grammar Lover