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3.2 Clauses

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3.2 Clauses


In English, ideas are presented which need to be given supporting information, and the realtionship between the main idea and the supporting ideas needs to be clear. This can only be done by using complex sentences, where these ideas and their relationships can be accurately demonstrated. A complex sentence is basically a simple sentence with additional information provided in the form of clauses or phrases.

Here we will be looking at what a CLAUSE is and the types of CLAUSES that are commonly used. A CLAUSE is a group of words that includes a SUBJECT and a VERB, and is different from a phrase, which may include a subject or a verb but not both. There are two main types of clauses, INDEPENDENT and DEPENDENT.

An independent clause can express a complete thought and so is the same as a simple sentence.

The dog ate the meat. (independent clause)

A dependent clause is usually a supporting part of a sentence, and it cannot stand by itself as a meaningful idea.

The dog ate the meat, because it was hungry. (dependent clause)

A dependent clause is also called a subordinate clause,

Dependent clauses are connect to their independent clauses by using SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS, such as BECAUSE, or SO, and these subordinating conjunctions identify the kind of clause.

Clauses can play a variety of roles in sentences, by acting as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

Noun clauses are called NOMINAL CLAUSES, adverb clauses are called ADVERBIAL CLAUSES, and adjective clauses are usually called RELATIVE CLAUSES.

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