I guess ‘as’ is a conjunction. If then, is as-clause an adjective clause that modifies ‘Muggle money’?

There was a train to London in five minutes' time. Hagrid, who didn't understand 'Muggle money,' as he called it, gave the bills to Harry so he could buy their tickets.

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    One more reason why assigning every word an official Part of Speech from the 8-crayon box is a totally useless activity. If you know what color it's sposta be, what have you learned about its usage, meaning, and grammar? – John Lawler Nov 16 '12 at 13:32
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    @JohnLawler: As long as you are not committed to cramming it into a single box, I think it can be interesting to explore and draw colourful lines over the boxes. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Nov 16 '12 at 13:41
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    OP is flooding the site with elementary questions which show no research effort. – MetaEd Nov 16 '12 at 13:41
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    What the OP learns about its usage, meaning, and grammar is dependent on the answers that are given, which would be better as answers rather than comments. – Kit Z. Fox Nov 16 '12 at 13:45
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    @JohnLawler: so there are labels for more refined functions. Those 8 are a first approximatino and aren't totally useless. – Mitch Nov 16 '12 at 14:41

Since it introduces a subordinate clause, I would call it a subordinating conjunction. The clause "as he called it" is a subordinate clause; it contains a finite verb, and is embedded in a larger subordinate clause ("who didn't understand...called it").

The more difficult part of your question is whether this is an adjective clause. The analysis of subordinate clauses varies, and grammarians don't always agree on the correct categorisation for them.

As I understand it, the term "adjective clause" is usually used (often in grammar for students of English as a foreign language) to describe subordinate clauses that modify nouns. These are predominantly relative clauses - clauses that begin with relative pronouns such as "which", "that", and so on:

The coat that I bought is too big

"that I bought" is a relative clause, acting as a modifier of the noun "coat".

Although "as he called it" doesn't start with a relative pronoun, I would say it still functions to modify the noun phrase ("Muggle money"), so you could make a good case for calling it an "adjective clause".

  • Which school is that? Any names? I'm afraid I'm not familiar witht the term adjective clause. – Barrie England Nov 16 '12 at 16:36
  • I meant "school" in a general sense - one view of grammar, or one way of looking at grammar, if you like. You'll find the term "adjective clause" in ESL teaching, in particular. From memory, I believe it's usually used of relative clauses modifying nouns, but this special type of "as-clause" could also be interpreted in the same way because it's a subordinate clause that modifies a noun. I've edited my answer to clarify. Thanks for the input! – Berthilde Nov 16 '12 at 21:02
  • Thank you. I can only say I didn't come across it in my ESL training, and haven't come across it since. – Barrie England Nov 16 '12 at 21:23
  • Hmmm... Interesting. I've certainly seen it often-ish in online ESL materials, but not having an ESL background myself my knowledge is second-hand. I wonder whether it's just a way of simplifying the terminology of "relative clause"? If the two are synonymous, of course, "as he called them" would not count as an "adjective clause" because it is not a relative clause. – Berthilde Nov 16 '12 at 21:26

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