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T HE C LAUSE

Recognize a clause when you


see one.
Clauses come in four
types: main [or independent], subordinate [or dependent], relative [o
r adjective], and noun. Every clause has at least a subject and a verb.
Other characteristics will help you distinguish one type of clause from
another.

Main Clauses
Every main clause will follow this pattern:

SUBJECT + VERB = COMPLETE THOUGHT .

Here are some examples:

Laz y s tudents whi ne.

Students = subject; whine = verb.

Cola s pill ed ov er the gl ass and spl as hed onto the counter.

Cola = subject; spilled, splashed = verbs.

My dog l oves pizz a crus ts .


Dog = subject; loves = verb.

The important point to remember is that every sentence must have at


least one main clause. Otherwise, you have a fragment, a major error.

Subordinate Clauses
A subordinate clause will follow this pattern:

SUBORDINATE

CONJUNCTION + SUBJECT + VERB = INCOMPLETE THOUGHT .

Here are some examples:

Whenev er l azy s tudents whine

Whenever = subordinate conjunction; students = subject; whine =


verb.

As c ol a spil led ov er the glass and spl as hed onto the counter

As = subordinate conjunction; cola = subject; spilled, splashed =


verbs.

Bec ause my dog l oves pizz a c rus ts

Because = subordinate conjunction; dog = subject; loves = verb.

The important point to remember about subordinate clauses is that they


can never stand alone as complete sentences. To complete the thought,
you must attach each subordinate clause to a main clause.

Generally, the punctuation looks like this:

MAIN CLAUSE + Ø + SUBORDINATE CLAUSE .


SUBORDINATE CLAUSE + , + MAIN CLAUSE .

Check out these revisions to the subordinate clauses above:

Whenever lazy students whine , Mrs. Russ ell throws chal k


eras ers at thei r heads .

Anthony ran for the paper towels as cola spilled over the
glass and splashed onto the counter .

Because my dog loves pizz a crusts , he nev er barks at the


deliveryman.

Relative Clauses
A relative clause will begin with a relative pronoun [such
as who, whom, whose, which, or that] or a relative
adverb [when, where, or why].

The patterns look like these:

RELATIVE PRONOUN OR

ADVERB + SUBJECT + VERB = INCOMPLETE THOUGHT.

RELATIVE PRONOUN AS SUBJECT + VERB = INCOMPLETE

THOUGHT .

Here are some examples:

Whom Mrs . Russ ell hi t i n the head wi th a c halk eraser

Whom = relative pronoun; Mrs. Russell = subject; hit = verb.

Where he chews and drools wi th great enthusi as m


Where = relative adverb; he = subject; chews, drools = verbs.

That had s pilled over the glass and s pl ashed onto the
c ounter

That = relative pronoun; had spilled, splashed = verbs.

Who l ov es pi zz a crus ts

Who = relative pronoun; loves = verb.

Like subordinate clauses, relative clauses cannot stand alone as complete


sentences. You must connect them to main clauses to finish the thought.

Look at these revisions of the relative clauses above:

The l az y students whom Mrs. Russell hit in the head with


a chalk eraser s oon learned to k eep their complai nts to
themsel ves .

My dog Fl oyd, who loves pizz a crusts , eats them under the
ki tc hen table, where he chews and drools with great
enthusiasm .

Anthony ran to get paper towel s for the cola that had spilled
over the glass and splashed onto the counter .

Punctuating relative clauses can be tricky. You must decide if the relative
clause is essential or nonessential and then use commas accordingly.

Essential relative clauses do not require commas. A relative clause is


essential when you need the information it provides.

Look at this example:

A dog that eats too much pizz a will s oon devel op pepperoni
breath.
Dog is nonspecific. To know which dog we are talking about, we must
have the information in the relative clause. Thus, the relative clause is
essential and requires no commas.

If, however, we revise dog and choose more specific words instead, the
relative clause becomes nonessential and does require commas to
separate it from the rest of the sentence.

Read this revision:

My dog Fl oyd , who eats too much piz za, has devel oped
pepperoni breath.

Noun Clauses
Any clause that functions as a noun becomes a noun clause. Look at this
example:

You reall y do not want to know the ingredients i n Aunt


Nanc y's s tew.

Ingredients = noun.

If we replace the noun ingredients with a clause, we have a noun clause:

You reall y do not want to know what Aunt Nancy adds to


her stew .

What Aunt Nancy adds to her stew = noun clause.


https://www.chompchomp.com/terms/clause.htm
Clauses - Definition, Types, Examples
of Clauses, Exercises
1. MBA Preparation

2. Grammar
| May 28, 2019 @ 03:55 PM

Clauses are the building blocks of the English language. Any sentence hat you write which
has a subject (the doer of the action) and a verb (an action word) is called a clause.
Whereas a phrase is a group of words which makes sense but not complete sense, a
clause makes complete sense.
For example, "a clear blue sky" (is a phrase) and "A clear blue sky welcomed me in Leh"
(is a clause-The subject is 'A clear blue sky' and the verb is 'welcomed').
There are two kinds of Clauses:

a. Principal or Main Clause


A main clause is a clause that contains a subject and an object. They make sense on their
own.
For example, "I like ice-cream" is a simple sentence made of a main clause.
"I like ice-cream and I like chocolate" is a compound sentence made up of
two main clauses ('I like ice-cream' and 'I like chocolate'). The two main clauses are joined
by the conjunction 'and.'
 1 New Way to Learn Tense with Examples and Exercises
 2Easy Reading Comprehension Passages
b. Subordinate Clause
A subordinate clause contains a subject and a verb but it depends on the main clause for
making sense as it does not make complete sense on its own.
For example, "I will go to the market if you come with me" is a complex sentence. It has a
main clause 'I will go to the market' and a subordinate clause 'if you come with me'. The
main clause 'I will go to the market' makes complete sense on its own. But, the subordinate
clause 'if you come with me' does not make complete sense on its own and depends on
the main clause for its complete meaning.
Based on the function they perform in the sentence, clauses can be categorized as:
• Noun Clause- is a group of words which contains a Subject and Predicate of its own,
and does the work of a noun. For example, "I like what I see" as a way of saying "I like
cakes". The highlighted portion is a clause that is functioning as noun.

• Adjective Clause-usually comes after the noun it qualifies and is made up of several
words which, like all clauses, will include a subject and a verb.It answers the adjective
questions 'What kind? How many? or Which one?" For example, "The umbrella which has
a broken handle is mine."The highlighted portion is a clause that is functioning as an
adjective.

• Adverb Clause-is a group of words which contains a Subject and Predicate of its own,
and does the work of an adverb. It answers the adverb questions How? When? Where? Or
Why? For example, "You may sit wherever you like." The highlighted portion is a clause
that is functioning as an adverb

 1Easy Tips to Understand Tenses


 2Average Reading Comprehension Passages
Test Yourself
Identify the clauses and point it whether it is a Noun Clause, Adjective Clause, Adverb
Clause.

a.The bankers need to know what they should do.


b. The books, which are lost, are not really necessary.

c. Whether you like it or not, you have to go to bed now.

d. Students who are intelligent get good grades.

e. No one knows he is.

f. When I was younger, I thought so.

g. He laughs best who laughs last.

h. I went to see what had happened.

i. He met a girl whose eyes were blue.

j. I shall remain where I am.

Read More : Difficult Reading Comprehension Passages


Answer Key
a. what they should do-Noun Clause

b. which are lost-Adjective Clause

c. Whether you like it or not-Adverb Clause

d. who are intelligent-Adjective Clause

e. who he is-Noun Clause

f. when I was younger-Adverb Clause

g. who laughs last-Adjective Clause

h. what had happened-Noun Clause

i. whose eyes were blue-Adjective Clause

j. where I am-Adverb Clause

https://www.mbarendezvous.com/clauses/
Types of Clauses
Like a phrase, a clause is a group of related words; but unlike a phrase, a clause has a subject
and verb. An independent clause, along with having a subject and verb, expresses a complete
thought and can stand alone as a coherent sentence. In contrast, a subordinate or dependent
clause does not express a complete thought and therefore is not a sentence. A subordinate
clause standing alone is a common error known as a sentence fragment.

Independent clauses

He saw her. The Washingtons hurried home. Free speech has a price. Grammatically complete
statements like these are sentences and can stand alone. When they are part of longer sentences,
they are referred to as independent (or main) clauses.

Two or more independent clauses can be joined by using coordinating conjunctions ( and, but, for,
nor, or, so, and yet) or by using semicolons. The most important thing to remember is that an
independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence.

In the following example, the independent clause is a simple sentence.

Erica brushed her long, black hair.

Next, the coordinating conjunction and joins two independent clauses.

Fernando left, and Erica brushed her long, black hair.

Next, a semicolon joins two independent clauses.

Fernando left; Erica brushed her long, black hair.

All sentences must include at least one independent clause.

After she told Fernando to leave, Erica brushed her long, black hair.

In the previous sentence, the independent clause is preceded by a clause that can't stand
alone: After she told Fernando to leave.

Erica brushed her long, black hair while she waited for Fernando to leave.

Here, the independent clause is followed by a clause that can't stand alone: while she waited for
Fernando to leave.

Beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions

Any of the coordinating conjunctions ( and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet) can be used to join an
independent clause to another independent clause. Can you begin a sentence with one of these
conjunctions?

No one knew what to do. But everyone agreed that something should be done.

An old rule says that you shouldn't. But beginning a sentence with a coordinating conjunction is
acceptable today. (Notice the preceding sentence, for example.) Sometimes beginning a sentence
this way creates exactly the effect you want. It separates the clause and yet draws attention to its
relationship with the previous clause.

Subordinate clauses

A subordinate clause has a subject and verb but, unlike an independent clause, cannot stand by
itself. It depends on something else in the sentence to express a complete thought, which is why
it's also called a dependent clause. Some subordinate clauses are introduced by relative
pronouns ( who, whom, that, which, what, whose) and some by subordinating conjunctions
( although, because, if, unless, when, etc.). Subordinate clauses function in sentences as
adjectives, nouns, and adverbs.

Relative clauses

A relative clause begins with a relative pronoun and functions as an adjective.

In the following sentence, the relative pronoun that is the subject of its clause and won the Pulitzer
Prize is the predicate. This clause couldn't stand by itself. Its role in the complete sentence is to
modify novel, the subject of the independent clause.

The novel that won the Pulitzer Prize didn't sell well when it was first published.

In the next example , which is the relative pronoun that begins the subordinate
clause. Celebrities is the subject of the clause and attended is the verb. In the complete sentence,
this clause functions as an adjective describing ceremony.

The ceremony, which several celebrities attended, received widespread media coverage.

Note that in a relative clause, the relative pronoun is sometimes the subject of the clause, as in the
following sentence, and sometimes the object, as in the next sentence.

Arthur, who comes to the games every week, offered to be scorekeeper.

Who is the subject of the clause and comes to the games every week is the predicate. The clause
modifies Arthur.

In the following sentence , mothers is the subject of the clause, adored is the verb, and whom is
the direct object of adored. Again, the clause modifies Arthur.

Arthur, whom the team mothers adored, was asked to be scorekeeper.

Noun clauses

A noun clause functions as a noun in a sentence.

What I want for dinner is a hamburger. (subject of the verb is)


The host told us how he escaped. (direct object of the verb told)
A vacation is what I need most. (complement of the linking verb is)
Give it to whoever arrives first. (object of the preposition to)

Pronoun case in subordinate clauses


Who, whom, whoever, whomever. In deciding which case of who you should use in a clause,
remember this important rule: The case of the pronoun is governed by the role it plays in its own
clause, not by its relation to the rest of the sentence. Choosing the right case of pronoun can be
especially confusing because the pronoun may appear to have more than one function. Look at
the following sentence.

They gave the money to whoever presented the winning ticket.

At first, you may think whomever is correct rather than whoever, on the assumption that it is the
object of the preposition to. But in fact the entire clause, not whoever, is the object of the
preposition. Refer to the basic rule: The case should be based on the pronoun's role within its own
clause. In this clause, whoever is the subject of the verb presented.

A good way to determine the right pronoun case is to forget everything but the clause
itself: whoever presented the winning ticket is correct; whomever presented the winning ticket is
not.

The following two sentences show how you must focus on the clause rather than the complete
sentence in choosing the right pronoun case.

We asked whomever we saw for a reaction to the play.

We asked whoever called us to call back later.

In each sentence the clause is the direct object of asked. But in the first sentence, whomever is
correct because within its clause, it is the object of saw. In the second sentence, whoever is
correct because it is the subject of called.

Adverbial clauses

Many subordinate clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions. Examples of these conjunctions
are because, unless, if, when, and although. What these conjunctions have in common is that they
make the clauses that follow them unable to stand alone. The clauses act as adverbs, answering
questions like how, when, where, why, to what extent, and under what conditions.

When Mauna Loa began erupting and spewing lava into the air, we drove away as quickly as we
could.

In the preceding sentence , when is a subordinating conjunction introducing the adverbial clause.
The subject of the clause is Mauna Loa and the predicate is began erupting and spewing lava into
the air. This clause is dependent because it is an incomplete thought. What happened when the
volcano began erupting? The independent clause we drove away as quickly as we
could completes the thought. The adverbial clause answers the question “When did we drive?”

In the following sentence, because introduces the adverbial clause in which van is the subject
and needed the verb. This clause is an incomplete thought. What happened because the van
needed repairs? The independent clause The group of tourists decided to have lunch in the
village is necessary to complete the thought. Again, the subordinate clause as a whole acts as an
adverb, telling why the tourists decided to have lunch in the village.

The group of tourists decided to have lunch in the village because the van needed repairs.

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/grammar/phrases-clauses-and-sentences/types-of-clauses
Clauses: Definition, Types & Examples
(5/5, 73 votes)


A clause is comprised of a group of words which includes a subject and a finite verb. A clause
contains only one subject and one verb. The subject of a clause can be mentioned or hidden, but
the verb must be apparent and distinguishable.
A clause “a group of words containing a subject and predicate and functioning as a
member of a complex or compound sentence. ” – Merriam-Webster
Example:
o I graduated last year. (One clause sentence)
o When I came here, I saw him. (Two clause sentence)
o When I came here, I saw him, and he greeted me. (Three clause sentence)

Types of Clause
Clauses are mainly of two types:
 Independent Clause
 Dependent Clause

Independent Clause
An independent clause functions on its own to make a meaningful sentence and looks much like
a regular sentence.
In a sentence two independent clauses can be connected by the coordinators: and, but, so, or,
nor, for*, yet*.
Example:
o He is a wise man.
o I like him.
o Can you do it?
o Do it please. (Subject you is hidden)
o I read the whole story.
o I want to buy a phone, but I don’t have enough money. (Two independent clauses)
o He went to London and visited the Lords. (Subject of the second clause is ‘he,' so “he
visited the Lords” is an independent clause.)
o Alex smiles whenever he sees her. (One independent clause)

Dependent Clause
A dependent clause cannot function on its own because it leaves an idea or thought unfinished.
It is also called subordinate clause. Dependent clauses help the independent clauses complete
the sentence. A dependent clause alone cannot form a complete sentence.
The subordinators do the work of connecting the dependent clause to another clause to
complete the sentence. In each of the dependent clause, the first word is a subordinator.
Subordinators include relative pronouns, subordinating conjunctions, and noun clause markers.
Example:
o When I was dating Daina, I had an accident.
o I know the man who stole the watch.
o He bought a car which was too expensive.
o I know that he cannot do it.
o He does not know where he was born.
o If you don’t eat, I won’t go.
o He is a very talented player though he is out of form.

https://www.learngrammar.net/english-grammar/clauses