Clauses



Clauses :



Clause

Examine the following sentences

We returned when the sun set.

As we tried to enter the inn, the innkeeper said that there was no room.

The first sentence consists of two parts :

We returned.

When the sun set.

As each part has a Subject and a Predicate of its own and is part of a larger sentence, each is Clause.

The Main Clause :

We further notice that the Clause, we returned, makes good sense by itself and can stand alone. Such a Clause is called Main or Principal Clause.

The Subordinate Clause :

But the Clause, when the sunset, cannot make good sense by itself and cannot, Therefore, Stand alone. It depends for its full meaning on the Clause ‘We returned’ Such a Clause is called a Dependent or Subordinate Clause.

The second sentence consists of three Clauses :

(a)The innkeeper said.(Main Clause)

(b)As we tried to enter the inn. (Subordinate Clause)

(c)That there was no room. ( Subordinate Clause)

So this sentence consists of one Main Clause and one Subordinate Clauses (dependent for their full meaning on the Main Clause).

The Noun Clause :

Study the group of words in italics in the following sentences :

They expected to win the match. (Expected what?)

They expected that they would win the match. (Expected what?)

The first group of words, ’to win the match’ is the object of the verb ’expected’. It therefore does the work of a Noun, and since it has no Subject and no Predicate of its own it is a Noun Phrase.

The second group of words, ‘that they would win the match’ is also the Object of the Verb ‘expected’ and so does the work of a Noun. But as it has a Subject and a Predicate of its own, it is called a Noun Clause.

Examine the following sentences :

He hopes to win the first prize.

He hopes that he will win the first prize.

In these sentences, the Noun Phrase, ‘to win the first prize’, is equivalent in meaning to the Noun Clause,’ that he will won the first prize’, and can therefore be replaced by it.

The Adjective Clause :

Study the groups of words in italics in the following sentences :

The table with a broken leg is Mohan’s. [Which table?]

The table which has broken leg is Mohan’s. [Which table?]

The first group of words, ‘with a broken leg’, describes the table; that is, it qualifies the Noun ‘table’, and does the work of an Adjective. It is what we call an Adjective Phrase.

The second group of words, ’which has a broken leg’, also describes the table, and so does the work of an Adjective. But since it has a Subject and a Predicate of its own, it is an Adjective Clause.

Read the following sentences.

A man of courage is respected everywhere.

A man who is courageous is respected everywhere.

Here the Adjective Phrase ‘of courage’ is equivalent in meaning to the Adjective Clause, ’who is courageous’, and can therefore be replace by it. The Adverb Clause : Study the groups of words in italics in the following sentences :

They started at dawn.(started when?)

They started when morning came.(started when?)

In sentence 1, the group of words in italics ’at dawn’, does the Work of an Adverb. It tells us when the action was done.

In sentence 2, the group of words in italics ‘when morning came’, also modifies the Verb ‘started and so does the work of an Adverb.

In sentence 1, the group of words ‘at dawn’ is an Adverb Phrase.

In sentence 2, the group of words ‘when morning came’ is not an Adverb Phrase. It has a Subject (morning) and a Predicate (came when).So it is Clause, and since it does the work of an Adverb, it is called Adverb Clause.

Study the following sentences :

On her return to India we asked her many Questions.

When she returned to India we asked her many questions.

We noticed that the Adverb Phrase, ’on her return to India’

Is equivalent in meaning to the Adverb Clause, ‘when she returned to India’, and can therefore be replaced by it.

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