Adjective, adjective phrase, adjective clause

SEE ALSO: Phrase versus clause

An adjective “modifies” (“adds information to”) a noun. Adjective phrases and adjective clauses also modify nouns.

black cat
Black” is the adjective.

adjective phrase
the cat in the hat
In the hat” is an adjective phrase.
(remember: A phrase does not have a subject-predicate structure.)

adjective clause (also called “relative clause“)
the cat who lives in the house
Who lives in the house” is an adjective clause.
(remember: A clause has a subject and a predicate. And: a clause can be independent or dependent. A sentence has at least one independent clause.)

structure of the adjective clause:
who || lives in the house
who [SUBJECT] || lives [VERB] in the house [PREDICATE]
“Who” is the SUBJECT.
“Lives” is the VERB.
“Lives in the house” is the COMPLETE PREDICATE.
NOTE: An adjective clause is a dependent clause. It cannot stand alone as a complete sentence.

Who” is a pronoun. It stands in for (or refers to) “cat.” Pronouns take the place of nouns or noun phrases.

Technically, you’re not supposed to use “who” to refer to animals. “Who” refers to people; “that” or “which” refers to animals.

I break this rule intentionally, but I want you to know that the rule exists.

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