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Essential And Nonessential Clauses

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  1. Essential And Nonessential Clauses 8th Grade English Clauses and Verbals Unit

  2. Today’s Notes: Mar. 31, 2010 IV. Essential and Nonessential Clauses A. Like an appositive, but contains a verb. B. An essential clause: 1. Is needed to explain the word it is modifying, it cannot be taken out. 2. Ex. My husky who died last year was fourteen. 3. Do NOT use commas to separate the clause from the rest of the sentence. C. Nonessential clauses 1. Can be taken out and the sentence still makes sense…the SAME sense. 2. Ex. My husky, who had blue eyes, had heart problems. 3. Use comma(s) to separate the clause from the rest of the sentence.

  3. We have learned about… • Simple and Compound Sentences. • Complex sentences • Independent and Subordinate Clauses • Adjective Clauses

  4. Before we begin…let’s review adjective clauses • On the following slide, identify the adjective clause…then tell me what word it is describing.

  5. Exercise A • In 1955 New York State had another team that is considered one of baseball’s best. • You must mean the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, who later moved to Los Angeles. • Branch Rickey, whose courage and foresight brought amazing talent to the Dodgers’ organization, was the manager of the team then. • Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson, who was African American.

  6. But do you actually NEED all of this? • Today we are going to discuss the difference between clauses that you need and clauses that you want! • We are going to distinguish between essential and nonessential clauses!

  7. Do you need this? • Take a look at the following sentence. Do you need the underlined part to understand it’s meaning? • Hayleigh and Holly, who are twins, are strong swimmers.

  8. How about this one? • Their mother, who never learned to swim herself, had them take swimming lessons when they were young. • The program that she took them to starts teaching children at six months.

  9. Clauses are funny… • Sometimes they are needed for the sentence to make sense. • Sometimes they are not. • It is up to you to decide if you need them or not!

  10. Essential Clauses • An essential clause is an adjective clause that is necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Do NOT use commas to set off an essential clause from the rest of the sentence. • Remove an essential clause and change the meaning of the sentence!

  11. Essential Clauses • Notice essential clause in the following sentence; you can’t take it out without the meaning of the sentence changing. • The woman who is near the pool is a good swimmer.

  12. Notice! • Notice the clauses in the following sentences, though. • Swimmers enjoy the pool, which is extremely clean. • The pool, which is open all week, is never crowded.

  13. Not Needed • Those clauses are not needed in order for the sentence to make sense. • They only give additional information about the noun they modify. • These clauses are called nonessential clauses.

  14. Nonessential Clauses • A nonessential clause is an adjective clause that is not necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Use commas to set off a nonessential clause from the rest of the sentence. • It only adds more info!

  15. The difference • Did you see the meet that our team won yesterday? • (Essential: The person you are asking needs to know what meet you are talking about!) • The meet, which began late, ended well after dark. • (Nonessential: Telling that it began late is just giving some extra info about the meet. The rest of the sentence remains the same.)

  16. But Ms. Deckard… • Haven’t we already learned this stuff? • Yes, but not in the way that you might think. You learned about an appositive. • However, there are slight differences.

  17. Clauses V. Appositives • Esther Williams, a popular film star in the 1950’s, was a graceful swimmer. (This is an appositive; the phrase has no verb) • Esther Williams, who was a popular film star in the 1950’s, was a graceful swimmer. (This is a nonessential adjective clause because it has both a subject and a predicate but can’t stand alone)

  18. Verbs…Subjects…and Predicates… • It is all about the rules, baby!

  19. Exercise B. • Identify the adjective clause in each sentence. Then tell me if it is essential or nonessential. • Remember, if it is essential it will NOT be set off by commas!

  20. Exercise B. • The athletes whom I most admire are swimmers. • Swimming, which requires strength and stamina, is a challenging sport. • A swimmer who wishes to participate in serious swimming competitions must practice constantly. • Some swimmers are nervous before competitions, which are usually referred to as swim meets.

  21. Exercise B 5. Our women’s team, whose record stands, enters the pool area. 6. The team members, who hope for a win today, listen to the coach’s advice. 7. Each race that the team members swim is called a heat. 8. The contestants, who are wearing special racing suits, will swim eight lengths of the pool in the first heat.

  22. Remember… • An essential clause is an adjective clause that is necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Do NOT use commas to set off an essential clause from the rest of the sentence. • Remove an essential clause and change the meaning of the sentence! • A nonessential clause is an adjective clause that is not necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Use commas to set off a nonessential clause from the rest of the sentence.

  23. Our List • A sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate and expresses a complete thought. • A simple sentence has one complete subject and one complete predicate. • The complete subject names whom or what the sentence is about. • The complete predicate tells what the subject does or has. Sometimes it can also tell what the subject is or is like. • A compound sentence contains two or more simple sentences. • Each simple sentence is called an independent, or main, clause. • A main clause has a subject and a predicate and can stand alone as a sentence.

  24. Our List • A complex sentence has a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses. • A subordinate clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate but DOES NOT express a complete thought. • It is always combined with a main clause.

  25. Our List • An adjective clause is a subordinate clause that modifies or describes a noun or pronoun in the main clause of a complex sentence. • An adjective clause is very similar to an appositive because it adds extra information to the sentence. • An adjective clause is usually introduced by a relative pronoun. Relative pronouns signal a subordinate clause, which cannot stand alone.

  26. Our List… • An essential clause is an adjective clause that is necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Do NOT use commas to set off an essential clause from the rest of the sentence. • Remove an essential clause and change the meaning of the sentence! • A nonessential clause is an adjective clause that is not necessary to make the meaning of the sentence clear. • Use commas to set off a nonessential clause from the rest of the sentence.

  27. 4…You mean there are FOUR frames of stuff I need to know? Sheesh!