Essential and Nonessential Adjective Clauses Examples

Essential and Nonessential Adjective Clauses

Remember that an adjective clause is a dependent clause that acts like an adjective in the sentence. This means that it gives more information about a noun or pronoun in the sentence.

Sometimes the information given by the adjective clause is essential. An essential adjective clause is one that is needed for the sentence to make sense. If you took it out, you would not know all the information that you need to know.

At other times, the information given by the adjective clause is nonessential. A nonessential adjective clause is one that is not necessary. The sentence still makes sense and you know everything you need to know even without the clause. So, you could take it out.

When a sentence has a nonessential adjective clause, the clause is set apart with commas. This shows that it is not essential.

Examples of Essential and Nonessential Adjective Clauses:

Examples of essential adjective clauses:

1) The man who left his wallet is coming back for it.

It is essential for us to know which man.

2) I do not remember the day that my cousin was born.

It is essential for us to know which man.

3) The time when I go to bed changes in the summer.

It is essential for us to know what time.

4) I want the dog that is black and white.

It is essential for us to know which dog.

5) Could you bring me the cup that is on the table?

It is essential for us to know which cup.

Examples of nonessential adjective clauses:

1) Lisa, who takes ballet with Jan, is my best friend.

It is not essential for us to know about the ballet.

2) I won first prize, which was a blue ribbon.

It is not essential for us to know the type of prize.

3) My grandfather, who lives on a farm, said he would teach me to ride a horse.

It is not essential for us to know where he lives.

4) The school library, which is next to the cafeteria, is my favorite place in the school!

It is not essential to know that it is next to the cafeteria.

5) Mary, whose mom is a nurse, sits behind me in class.

It is not essential for us to know what Mary's mom does.

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