Home > Foreign Language > Use reduced adjective clause correctly

Use reduced adjective clause correctly

Adjective clauses can appear in a reduced form. In the reduced form, the adjective clause connector and the be-verb that directly follow it are omitted.

  • The woman who is waving to use is the tour guide.
  • The letter which was written last week arrived today.
  • The pitcher that is on the table is full of iced tea.

Each of these sentences may be used in the complete form or in the reduced form. In the reduced form the connector who, which, or that is omitted along with the be-verb is or was.

If there in no be-verb in the adjective clause, it is still possible to have a reduced form. When there is no be-verb in the adjective clause, the connector is omitted and the verb is changed into the -ing form.

  • I don’t understand the article which appears tin today’s paper [–>appearing]

In this example there is no be-verb in the adjective clause which appears in today’s paper, so the connector which is omitted and the main verb appears is changed to the -ing form appearing.

It should be noted that not all adjective clauses can appear in a reduced form. An adjective clause can appear in a reduced form only if the adjective clause connector is followed directly by a verb. In other words, an adjective clause can only be reduced if the connector is also a subject.

The woman that I just met is the tour guide. [does not reduce]

The letter which you sent me arrived yesterday [does not reduce]

In these two example the adjective clauses cannot be reduced because the adjective clause connector that and which are not directly followed by verbs, that is directly followed by the subject I, and which is directly followed by the subject you.

A final point to note is that some adjective clauses are set off from the rest of the sentence with commas, and these adjective clause can also be reduced. In addition, when an adjective clause is set off with commas, the reduced adjective clause can appear at the front of the sentence.

  • The White House, which is located in Washington, is the home of the president.
  • The White House, located in Washington, is the home of the president.
  • Located in Washington, the White House is the home of the president
  • The president, who is now preparing to give a speech, is meeting with his advisors.
  • The president, now preparing to give a speech, is meeting with his advisors.
  • Now preparing to give a speech, the president is meeting with his advisors.

Source: Longman Complete course for the TOEFL test

Dennis [24.12.09]

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  1. January 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    thanx for these informations

    • January 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Thks for reading and comment :D

  2. camila
    April 10, 2012 at 2:41 am

    thankss

  3. mahoobeh
    December 17, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Thanks for your information.
    Could you please help me? I don’t know why the following sentence doesn’t make sense!
    Maria was a turkish woman, loosing and finding her father after 40 years (Maria was a Turkish woman, who lost and found her father after 40 years).

    • March 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      In your case, It can not be reduced. “An adjective clause can appear in a reduced form only if the adjective clause connector is followed directly by a verb”

  4. billybobteeth
    February 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    thanks for just completely copying the text in the Longman book and pasting here. No thanks for trying to explain it clearly in a paraphrased version.

  5. firat
    February 24, 2013 at 6:27 am

    1-I would like to ask you to break down the all sentences below for me:

    “Plant cells have a rigid cell wall, which resists the swelling of the vacuole, providing turgor, or stiffness that helps to support the plant ”

    Is it cell wall that provides turgor (a kind of pressure within cell) or is it the swelling vacuole?

    Is it, again, cell wall that helps to support the plant or is it turgor pressure that does this support ?

    2- ” He had ulcers on his legs, that never healed, and doctors used him as a guinea pig for finding treatments.”

    where does “that never healed” point out? to ulcer or legs??
    3-”The folds tend to be regular, giving rise to shelf like structures called cristae”

    Is it correct to use “by” in the sentence like this: The folds tend to be regular by giving rise to shelf like structures called cristae??

    if no, can you explain the structure in this sentence …can you break down the sentence for me to understand?

    I hope you help me …thank you…

  6. Miyuki
    August 6, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Thank you very much for the article. It’s very helpful!

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