Introduction to Clauses

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Introduction to Clauses :

Read the following.

1. The man opened the door.
2. I went in.

These two sentences can be combined into one sentence.

The man opened the door and I went in.

The two short sentences are linked by the conjunction to form another sentence.

This sentence contains two subjects and two predicates.
Its pattern is….

Subject - 1 + Predicate – 1 + Conjunction + Subject - 2 + Predicate – 2

The man opened the door and I went in.

In the above sentence,

Subject – 1 = The man
Predicate – 1 = opened the door
Conjunction = and
Subject – 2 = I
Predicate – 2 = went in

Each of the sentences has become part of another sentence and become a clause.

Those two sentences may also be combined into a sentence rather different from the above.

When the man opened the door I went in.

This sentence, too, contains two subjects and two predicates. We have used a different conjunction WHEN here and it is placed at the beginning.

Compare the following clauses.

1. The man opened the door (in the first sentence)
2. When the man opened the door (in the second sentence)
3. I went in (in both the sentences)

Clause 1 can stand by itself and make sense without the help of the other clause. So can clause 3. Such clauses as these are called main clauses.

Clause 2 cannot stand on its OWN and depends on another clause.
Clauses such as this are called subordinate clauses.

Further examples :

(a) Sentences containing two main clauses :

The boy saw the monkey and (he) ran away.
He wants to go, but he is busy.
I had flu, so I was absent.

(b) Sentences containing 1 main clause + 1 subordinate clause :

Before we reached the station, the train had left.
Though he worked hard, he failed the examination.
I threw it away because I was tired of it.
I supposed that he was honest.

The conjunction in each of these sentences is in bold. A subordinate clause may come either before a main clause or after it.

Main clauses are joined by words like….


A subordinate clause is joined to a main clause by words like…


Introduction to Clauses

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