J.D.’s sentences

A few weeks ago, in class, everyone wrote sentences that contained:

I love J.D.’s sentence:

The man who ate 50 Baconators won the contest.

J.D.’s sentence can be “resolved” into these two:

The man won the contest.
He ate 50 Baconators.

Here’s another sentence by J.D.:

A person who is thin eats differently.

A person eats differently.
The person is thin.

*Relative clauses are sometimes called adjective clauses.

J.T.’s admirable sentence!

A sentence with a MISPLACED MODIFIER:

To be cooked properly, the chef advised us to place the casserole in a pre-heated oven.

NOTE: Because of its place in the sentence above, the phrase “to be cooked properly” seems to modify the word “chef.”

The chef advised us to place the casserole in a pre-heated oven to be cooked properly.

DEFINITION of “misplaced modifier” from Richard Nordquist at about.com:

Words, phrases, or clauses that do not clearly relate to the word or phrase they are intended to modify.

A misplaced modifier can usually be corrected by moving it closer to the word or phrase it should be describing.

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.

Phrase versus clause

This is a phrase:
in the hat
This is not a phrase:
hat the in

This is a phrase (not a clause):
Rex the dog
This is a clause:
Rex barked

The easiest type of clause to identify has a stated subject and a predicate:
Rex [SUBJECT] || barked [PREDICATE].
Rex [SUBJECT] || barked at the cat [PREDICATE].
(“Barked” is the verb. “Barked at the cat” is the complete predicate. The predicate includes the verb.)
Rex the dog [SUBJECT] || barked at the cat [PREDICATE].
(“Rex the dog” is the complete subject. “Barked at the cat” is the complete predicate.)

A phrase does not have the subject-predicate structure of a clause: 
on the boat
in the classroom
would have been
stand up

NoteIn everyday language the term “phrase” refers to two or more “grammatically related” words. (“the big dog” not “dog big the”) Grammarians, however, also use the word “phrase” to apply to just one word because a single word can serve the same function as a phrase:

Sentence Verb phrase
Rex is barking. is barking
Rex barked. barked
Sentence Noun phrase
Rex barked. Rex
Rex the neighbor dog barked. Rex the neighbor dog