Nasal Consonants and Adjectival Clauses


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about nasal consonants and adjectival clauses. Enjoy the class!

Nasal Consonants and Adjectival Clauses



If you remember, during our class on vowel and consonant sounds, we mentioned some nasal consonants. Of course, I didn’t pay attention to them, but you probably recognize them when you see them.

There are three nasal consonants in English sounds. The bilabial nasal /m/, the alveolar nasal /n/ and the velar nasal /η/ sounds.

Let us take them one after the other.

The bilabial nasal sound /m/

This is called bilabial because it requires the upper lip and the lower lip coming together to pronounce it. See examples below:

madam                                home                                     madam

minute                                   come                                     mummy

most                                       lamb                                      member

me                                          name                                     mum

man                                       lame                                      September

may                                       farmer                                   emblem

minus                                     family                                     small

month                                   remember                            seem

The alveolar nasal sound /n/

We call this sound nasal because it requires the alveolar ridges to come together in order to pronounce it. See examples below:

name                                     gnaw                                     sinner

nine                                        next                                        pencil

nice                                        went                                      none

nimble                                   know                                     run

knife                                       naught                                  when

The velar nasal sound /η/

The velar nasal sound is produced with the aid of the soft palate. It appears before velar plosive sounds (/k/, /g/) in most words. See the following examples:

thing                                      singer                                     finger

sing                                         hanging                                anger

song                                       singing                                   longer

sink                                         thinker                                   language

bank                                      anchor                                  drink

blink                                       conquer                               wink


This refers to any subordinate clause that performs the function of an adjective. Many dependent adjectival clauses are introduced by the word ‘that’ which in some cases may be omitted. The dependent adjectival clause may also be introduced by relative adverbs like who, which, whose and whom:

  • The house that the contractor built has collapsed.
  • The dress which I bought yesterday was very expensive.
  • I can’t find the person whose wallet was snatched.

As mentioned above, adjectival clauses perform the function of adjectives in sentences. The above sentences are good examples of that fact. The adjectival markers (that, which and whose) are underlined, while the adjectival clauses (that the contractor built, which I bought yesterday and whose wallet was snatched) are in boldface. Therefore, the adjectival clause in each sentence performs the function of qualifying the nouns before them.

Hence, if you see a question like this in your examination:

  1. What grammatical name is given to the expression above?
  2. What is its function?

Give your answer for (a) simply as ‘adjectival clause’, while your answer for (b) is simply that ‘it qualifies the noun ‘house’’ in the first instance, ‘it qualifies the noun ‘dress’’ in the second instance, and ‘it qualifies the noun ‘person’’ in the third instance.

I believe that was clear enough to understand.

Note that adjectival clauses are also known as relative clauses.


Combine each of the following pairs of simple sentences into one complex sentence containing an adjective clause. Number one has been done for you.

  1. The theft was committed last night. The police have caught the man.

The police have caught the man who committed the theft last night.

  1. The French language is different from the Latin language. Latin was once spoken throughout Europe.
  2. You are looking upset. Can you tell me the reason?
  3. He had several plans for making money quickly. All of them have failed.
  4. The landlord was proud of his strength. He despised the weakness of his tenants.
  5. This is the village. I was born here.
  6. You put the keys somewhere. Show me the place.
  7. Paul was an old gentleman. He was my travelling companion.
  8. A fox once met a crane. The fox had never seen a crane before.
  9. The shop keeper keeps his money in a wooden case. This is the wooden case.


We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

Get more class notes, videos, homework help, exam practice etc on our app [CLICK HERE]

Upgrade your teaching with ready-made & downloadable class notes on our app [CLICK HERE]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don`t copy text!