• SKILL 10 : ADJECTIVE CLAUSE CONNECTOR / SUBJECT
In Skill 9 we saw that adjective clause connectors can be used to introduce clauses that describe nouns. In skill 10 we will see that in some cases an adjective clause connector is not just a connector; an adjective clause connector can also be the subject of the clause at the same time.
In the first example, there are two clauses: we is the subject of the verb are looking, and that is the subject of the verb is. These two clauses are joined with the connector that. Notice that in this example the word that serves two functions at the same time: it is the subject of the verb is, and it is the connector that joins the two clauses. The adjective clause that is quite expensive describes the noun house.
In the second example, there are also two clauses: house is the subject of the verb seems, and that is the subject of the verb is. In this example, that also serves two functions: it is the subject of the verb is, and it is the connector that joins the two clauses. Because that is quite expensive is an adjective clause describing the noun house, it directly follows house.
The following example shows how these sentence patterns could be tested in the Structure section of the TOEFL test.
______ just dropped off a package for you is my sister.
(A) The woman
(B) The woman who
(C) Because the woman
(D) With the woman
In this example, you should notice immediately that the sentence has two verbs, dropped and is, and each of them needs a subject. The only answer that has two subjects is answer (B), so answer (B) is the correct answer. The correct sentence should say: The woman who just dropped off a package for you is my sister. In this sentence woman is the subject of the verb is, and who is the subject of the verb dropped. Who is also the connector that joins the two clauses?
The following chart lists the adjective clause connector/subjects and the sentence patterns used with them.