Clauses
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Clauses. What is a clause?. A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and its verb. A phrase DOES NOT contain a subject and its verb whereas a clause ALWAYS contains a subject and its verb. Examples:. 1. Whenever I see a woodpecker. subject. verb.

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Clauses

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Clauses

Clauses


What is a clause

What is a clause?


A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and its verb

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and its verb.


Clauses

A phrase DOES NOT contain a subject and its verb whereas a clause ALWAYS contains a subject and its verb.


Examples

Examples:

1. Whenever I see a woodpecker

subject

verb


Clauses

2. The girl with the yellow ribbons in her

hair stood outside of the movie theater.

subject

verb


General categories

General Categories

There are two general categories of clauses:

Independent (or main) clauses

AND

Subordinate (or dependent) clauses


Independent clause

Independent clause

Contains a subject, its verb, and a COMPLETE THOUGHT. Independent clauses can function as sentences.


Example

Example

I lost a shiny ring at the amusement park.

verb

This sentence contains a subject, its verb, and a complete thought. This is an independent clause.

subject


Subordinate clause

Subordinate clause

Contains a subject and a verb BUT DOES NOT EXPRESS A COMPLETE THOUGHT!!!! Subordinate clauses cannot stand alone as sentences; to make sense, they must attach to independent clauses. For this reason, subordinate clauses are sometimes called DEPENDENT clauses.


Example1

Example

Whenever I go to the gym

subject

verb

While this group of words contains a subject and a verb, it does not contain a complete thought. This is a subordinate clause. Subordinate clauses are sometimes called dependent clauses.


Clauses

Whenever I go to the gym, I drive through my old neighborhood.

This sentence now makes sense because the meaning of the subordinate clause is completed.

Independent clause

Subordinate clause


Types of subordinate clauses

Types of subordinate clauses

Adjective clause – used as an adjective; modifies a noun or a pronoun

A family is more than a group of people who are related.

“who are related” modifies people (a noun) and functions as an adjective. Since it contains a subject and its verb, it is a clause. Therefore, it is a subordinate clause functioning as an adjective.


Keys to recognizing adjective clauses

Keys to recognizing adjective clauses

  • Look for key words that introduce adjective clauses

  • Relative pronouns: who, whose, whom, which, and that

    Ex. I bought a car that travels very fast.

  • Relative adverbs: when, where, why

    Ex. Some people still live in hunter-gatherer

    societies, where a “family” may have 20 to

    200 members.


Essential adjective clauses

Essential adjective clauses

  • Provides information that is essential, or necessary, to identify the preceding noun or pronoun.

    Ex. People who drink and drive can serve long prison sentences.


Nonessential adjective clauses

Nonessential adjective clauses

  • Add information to a sentence whose meaning is already clear

    Ex. Irene, who is your first cousin, was

    married last fall.

    NONESSENTIAL CLAUSES ARE SET OFF BY COMMAS!!!!


Guidelines for using that and which

GUIDELINES FOR USING THAT AND WHICH

Writers are often not sure whether to use that or which to introduce essential (restrictive) or nonessential (nonrestrictive) clauses. Follow these guidelines to use these words correctly.

That is used to introduce an essential clause.

Ex. The reception was held at a hotel that looks like a castle.

Which is used to introduce a nonessential clause.

Ex. The Clairmont Hotel, which looks like a castle, is 100 years old.


Adverb clauses

Adverb clauses

  • Subordinate clauses that modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. (Answer all of the questions answered by an adverb)

    Ex. Most children leave home when the time is right.


Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions

  • Begin adverb clauses

  • See page 21 in your Grammar Mastery – for Better Writing workbook


Clauses

Examples - Closely examine the following groups of words. Name each group as either a phrase or a clause.

  • Whenever I see a fancy car

  • Screaming at the top of my lungs

  • That she is alone

  • Since the coach was angry

  • Because Mary likes the band N’Sync


Clauses

  • Unless she comes for dinner

  • On which I spent several days

  • With a sick child in the back of the car

  • Tattered and worn from years of use


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