Quiz on sentence combining

The quiz will ask you to combine sentences using adjectives, adverbs, and relative clauses.

Some relative clauses will be restrictive, others nonrestrictive. For a very short and clear explanation of restrictive & nonrestrictive clauses, see Restrictive Clauses at ESL Gold.

Combining sentences using adjectives

The cat napped on the windowsill.
The cat was black.
Combined: The black cat napped on the windowsill.

Combining sentences using relative clauses

Restrictive relative clause:
The bird is perched in the tree.
The bird is singing.
Combined: The bird which is perched in the tree is singing.
or:
The bird that is perched in the tree is singing.*

Nonrestrictive relative clause:
This china belonged to my mother.
I’ve always loved this china.
Combined: This china, which I’ve always loved, belonged to my mother.

Sentences drawn from the news and other sources:

Restrictive relative clause:
Some people shouldn’t throw stones.
Those people live in glass houses.
Combined: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Restrictive  relative clause:
The NFL agreement doesn’t change the record.
The record belongs to the teams.
The teams voiced their displeasure.
Combined: The NFL agreement doesn’t change the record for the teams who voiced their displeasure.

Nonrestrictive relative clause:
The window air conditioning unit in our classroom is insanely loud.
The window air conditioning must be 20 years old.
Combined: The window air conditioning unit, which must be 20 years old, is insanely loud.

Nonrestrictive relative clause:
The agreement hinged on working out pension and retirement benefits for the officials.
The officials are part-time employees of the league.
Combined: The agreement hinged on working out pension and retirement benefits for the officials, who are part-time employees of the league.
Adapted from “Roger Goodell apologizes to fans” | Associated Press | 9/27/2012

Nonrestrictive relative clause:
Justice O’Connor co-authored the opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The opinion upheld Roe v. Wade.
Combined: Justice O’Connor co-authored the opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe v. Wade.
(Adapted from an Ann Coulter sentence quoted on Language Log)

* Two notes:
I myself like to use the word “who” to refer to animals and birds, but I’m in a minority.
American editors, teachers, and presumably professors strongly prefer the word “that” in restrictive clauses, to the point that many consider “which” an error. I disagree, but I’m in a minority. My advice: use that for restrictive clauses and which for nonrestrictive.

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.

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.

adjective
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.

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

fyi:
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.