Today I will begin a series of lessons on relative clauses, starting with adjective clauses in English. This can be tricky grammar for a lot of people, so let me help you out!
As you know, an adjective modifies or describes a noun. Adjectives come before the noun, like this:
- I bought a blue pen this morning.
- Jane is wearing a pretty dress.
- Today was a busy day.
An adjective clause is a phrase that comes after a noun and starts with a question word (like who, whom, which) or that. Today, we will look at adjective clauses that use who and whom. These adjective clauses describe people. Remember, a clause is not a complete sentence.
Who is used as a subject pronoun. In a relative clause use who + verb, like this:
- The man who works at the post office is very nice.
The clause [who works at the post office] gives us more information about the noun man. If you remove the adjective clause from the sentence, it is still a logical English sentence: The man…is very nice. Here are some more examples:
- The woman who lives next door speaks French and Spanish.
- The teacher who taught me the piano was a nice guy.
- The man who helped me yesterday is such a nice guy.
- The person who broke my window agreed to pay for the repair.
Whom is used as an object pronoun. In a relative clause use whom + subject + verb, like this:
- The woman whom I met can speak Japanese.
The clause [whom I met] gives us more information about the noun woman. If you remove the adjective clause from the sentence, it is still a logical English sentence: The woman…can speak Japanese. Here are some more examples:
- The woman whom we saw at the park was feeding the birds.
- The teacher whom I had in first grade…
- The man whom I met at the party is such a nice guy.
- The person whom I wrote to hasn’t sent a reply yet.
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!