hi everyone,

i want to ask what is the different between relative clause and adjective clause.

(i)Can all of the clauses be called the relative clause?

(ii) the main function of clause is giving more details on sentence. am i right?
And also. i want to ask the following sentences.

1. Mary,who is so beautiful, is 20-year-old.

2. Mary is 20 years old and beautiful.

are there any different here?

Maybe the above is basic knowledge of english. however i want to clear the question in my mind. So sorry about that.
I think your understanding is correct.

As you know, a clause has a subject and a verb. In a relative clause, a relative pronoun often serves as the subject of the clause, and may refer back to some noun earlier in the sentence, which the clause may be said to describe. We sometimes call this it's antecedent. When the clause describes a noun, we say the clause is "adjectival." (Adjectives describe nouns.)

So the same clause has two names, in a manner of speaking. One name tells what it is, or how it's constructed. The other name tells what it does, or how it functions.

In your first example, the pronoun "who" is subject of the clause, and refers back to "Mary." The clause has two names, "relative," and "adjectival."

Your second example is a simple sentence (not compound, not complex). It has only the one clause, which is the main clause. The verb is "to be" ("is") and has two adjectival complements (beautiful, 20), neither of which is a clause - they're just adjectives.

- A.
thank you Avangi,

if you don't tell me we can call the two names of same clause, i don't know when i will learn it.

For further details:

The film which we saw on Monday evening was very boring.

In this sentence, can i say this part as relative clause in general?

To be more specific, can i say this part as adjective clause ?

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I believe that what you say is true. I hasten to add one small caveat. There is a generic naming procedure which allows phrases and clauses to be named after the part of speech of the word which fronts them. This is not without its confusing limitations.

"Phrase" and "clause" are nouns. Nouns are modified by adjectives. The names of "parts of speech" are nouns. Most of them also have adjectival forms.

Thus a phrase beginning with a preposition is called a "prepositional phrase," not a "preposition phrase."

So how do we distinguish between the names of phrases which begin with adjectives and phrases which function as adjectives? I guess you have to play it by ear.

The term "noun" doesn't have a convenient adjective form, as far as I know. So when you say "noun phrase" I guess you've made a compound noun. I'm still tryiing to figure out whether "noun phrase" refers to a phrase which functions as a noun, or one which begins with a noun. I may never know for sure. I think it's the latter.

The nouns "adjective" and "adverb" have adjectival forms, "adjectival" and "adverbial." It seems to be a pretty well established convention that these terms refer to function. My impression is that when we wish to refer specifically to the function of a phrase or clause, we say, "This clause is adverbial," and "This phrase is adjectival." I don't think we commonly say, "This is an adverbial phrase," or "This is an adjectival clause," but I could be wrong about this. If we wished to refer to a phrase or clause beginning with an adjective or adverb, I expect we'd say, "This is an adverb clause," "That is an adjective phrase," using the terms which are compound nouns. But I don't have much of a sense of how often we need to refer to phrases or clauses beginning with adjectives or adverbs.

There are many many many phrases beginning with present and past participles. These are "principle parts" of the verb, but they're not listed among the eight parts of speech.
We use the adjectival form, and call them "participial phrases," not "participle phrases." We would typically say, "This participial phrase is adjectival," or "This participial phrase is an adverbial phrase."
1. Mary,who is so beautiful, is 20-year-old.

2. Mary is 20 years old and beautiful.


In addition to Avangi ‘s explanation, I like to add a few comments tro your questions.

Depending on the writer’s frame of mind, preference, mood and the context in which he is engaged in, he may choose to use different methods to express his thoughts. Adding to you examples, I can also say “ Mary is a beautiful 20-year old (young lady)”. This sentence is adjectival by nature.

Likewise, please consider this sentence in which you may chose among relative, adjective and adverbial constructions.

Relative: Mary, who has just turned 20, has already earned a master degree in physics.

Adverbial: Mary, having just turned 20, has already earned a master degree….

Adjectival (compound with prep phrase) Mary is a 20 year old with a master degree in physics.

So, there is no simple answer.

Hope that helps

myeungwhat is the different between relative clause and adjective clause
A relative clause normally occurs after a noun. It is thus a "post-modifier" of the noun. Because it modifies a noun, it is adjectival in nature. For this reason, traditional grammarians sometimes call it an adjective clause. So a construction like this is both a relative clause and an adjective clause.

The film which we saw on Monday evening was very boring.

If you are studying grammar with a traditional approach you can call which we saw on Monday evening in the sentence above either a relative clause or an adjective clause. If you call it a relative clause you are focusing more on its structure. If you call it an adjective clause you are focusing more on its function.

For most practical purposes, I think it's fine just to say that they are relative clauses.

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As is very easy to do, I think you may be confusing the terms of traditional grammar with the terms of "transformational grammar".

In this case below, for example, you're mixing a basic idea from transformational grammar (the idea of a 'head' word of a phrase) with an idea from traditional grammar (the idea that a clause can be named by its function: noun clause, adjective clause, etc.).
AvangiIf we wished to refer to a phrase or clause beginning with an adjective or adverb, I expect we'd say, "This is an adverb clause,"
An adverb phrase, a term from transformational grammar, is 'headed by' an adverb. (The adverb (or whatever) need not actually be at the beginning, by the way: happily is the head of the adverb phrase very happily.) These are never called 'adverb clauses', as far as I know.

On the other hand, an adverb clause (or adverbial clause), a term from traditional grammar, is a clause (subject and verb) which functions as an adverb (answers questions like How?, When?, etc.) A phrase with adverbial function can be a prepositional phrase: ... threw it into the barrel. Here's where traditional grammarians sometimes use the term adverbial (prepositional) phrase-- and this is where it gets very confusing because that is very close to the term 'adverb phrase' from transformational grammar. Emotion: sad


Transformational grammar: Adverb phrases

surprisingly, very quickly, as quick as a bunny, as quickly as I possibly cou
ld, too late to see it

Traditional grammar: Adverb clauses / Adverbial clauses

when I was young, unless we harvest before the rain, although darkness was already upon them


Notoriously varied, and therefore difficult, is the terminology surrounding participial constructions. The traditional approach typically calls them phrases (because they have no subjects), and the transformational approach calls them clauses (with implicit subjects). Take this example:

Julia accidentally cut her finger opening a can of tomatoes.

opening a can of tomatoes is called a participial phrase by the traditionalists. Many of them even insist that it must be placed first:

Opening a can of tomatoes, Julia accidentally cut her finger.

"It wasn't the finger, but Julia, who was opening the can", goes the argument, and the phrase must be placed as near as possible to the noun it modifies. (Here you have an implicit claim that this participial phrase is adjectival.)

On the other hand, opening a can of tomatoes is called a (non-finite) clause by the transformationalists. The implicit subject is Julia. They don't insist that it's adjectival, of course, because it answers the questions When? and While doing what? and, favoring description over prescription, they are quite happy to leave it at the end of the sentence.

To make matters worse, not all traditional grammarians always agree on their own terminology, and not all transformational grammarians always agree on theirs! Emotion: surprise

I hope this helps! Emotion: smile