Clauses: Meaning And Types Of Clause

A group of words with its own subject and verb is known as a Clause.

The difference between a clause and a phrase is that a phrase has no finite verb while a clause has a finite verb.

Types Of Clauses

Clauses are divided into two main types namely:

1. Main / Independence Clause

The main or independent clause of a sentence, is that part that has a subject and a predicate, which expresses a complete thought or idea and can stand on its own.

Steps To Finding The Main Clause Of A Sentence

1. The main clause states the major idea of the sentence.

2. Explores the sentence to find the sense it expresses.

2. The Subordinate / Dependent Clause

This part of a sentence has subject and predicate as well, but it cannot stand on its own. Like the same goes, it depends on the main clause to make full meaning.

It is often introduced bya subordinating conjunction. Thus, the use of the subordinating, conjunction, is a clear indication that the clause that follows, is a subordinate clause.

Subordinate clauses act as adjectives, adverbs or nouns.

1. Subordinate Adjective Clause: This, like the adjective, comes after the noun or pronoun it qualifies. It does the duty of an adjective.

The subordinate adjective clause is usually introduced by the relative pronouns: that, which, who, whom and whose or the relative adverbs: when or where.

The relative adverb or pronoun may be omitted if it would be in the accusative case.

Subordinate Adjective Clauses In Sentences:

1. I wrote the song which was used in the film.

2. The boy whose mother was assassinated was found dead today.

3. There comes a time when we heed a certain call.

4. Chinedu is the boy whom the students chose to represent them.

2. Subordinate Adverb Clause: An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

Adverb clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions and like the adverbs, they tell us how, why, when, where, in what way, to what extent, under what condition an action takes place.

Subordinate Adverb Clause In Sentences:

1. The teacher arrived when it was drizzling >> time

2. She followed her twin wherever she went >> place

3. I am happy because God loves me >> reason/why

4. She gracefully walked out like a queen >> manner/how

5. Nne will come if she is sure of meeting the Rector >> condition.

3. Subordinate Noun Clause: A noun clause can perform the functions of a noun e.g. It can be used as an object or a subject of a sentence. It can also be used predicatively.

A noun clause can be replaced by the word “something” because it tries to find the what? In a given sentence.

Subordinate Noun Clause In Sentences:

1. That Zik is dead is true >> Subject

2. She was told that Zik was dead >> Object

3. I believe that God has made a way for me.

4. No one knows the fact of the matter.

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