Adjective clause

A kind of subordinate clause which does the work of an adjective. An adjective clause is used to modify a noun or a pronoun in the main clause.

An adjective clause is usually introduced by a relative pronoun or a relative adverb.

  • This is the house that Jack built. (Here the adjective clause ‘that Jack built’ says something about the noun house.)
  • The reason why I did it is obvious. (Here the adjective clause ‘why I did it’ says something about the noun reason.)
  • People who are honest are trusted. (Adjective clause – who are honest)
  • We love those who love us. (Adjective clause – who love us)
  • The house where the accident occurred is nearby. (Adjective clause – where the accident occurred)
  • All that glitters is not gold.

The relative pronoun or relative adverb introducing an adjective clause is sometimes understood, and not expressed.

  • Where is the book I lend you? (= Where is the book that I lend you?)
  • Eat all you can. (= Eat all that you can.)

A to-infinitive is sometimes used as an equivalent of an adjective clause.

  • He has no clothes which he can wear. = He has no clothes to wear.
  • I have got some work which I must do now. = I have got some work to do now.