Use of Clauses
A group of words containing a subject and a predicate and forming the part of a compound or complex sentences are called as clauses. Independent clause
If a clause can stand alone as a sentence, it is an independent clause, as in the following example.
The Prime Minister is in Ottawa.
Some clauses, however, cannot stand alone as sentences: in this case, they are dependent clauses or subordinate clauses. Consider the same clause with the subordinating conjunction "when" added to the beginning.
When the Prime Minister is in Ottawa.
In this case, the clause could not be a sentence by itself, since the conjunction "when" suggests that the clause is providing an explanation for something else. Since this dependent clause answers the question "when", just like an adverb, it is called a dependent adverb clause
(or simply an adverb clause, since adverb clauses are always dependent clauses).
Note how the clause can replace the adverb "tomorrow" in the following examples:
Adverb: The committee will meet tomorrow.
Adverb clause: The committee will meet when the Prime Minister is in Ottawa. Dependent clauses can stand not only for adverbs, but also for nouns and for adjectives. Noun
A noun clause is an entire clause which takes the place of a noun in another clause or phrase. Like a noun, a noun clause acts as the subject or object of a verb or the object of a preposition, answering the questions "who(m)?" or "what?". Consider the following examples:
Noun: I know Latin
the entire clause "that Latin..." is the direct object. In fact, many noun clauses are indirect questions:
Noun: Their destination is unknown.
Noun Clause: Where they are going is unknown. The question "Where are they going?" with a slight change in word order, becomes a noun clause when used as part of a larger unit - like the noun "destination," the clause is the subject of the verb "is".
Here are some more examples of noun clauses:
About what you bought at the mall. This noun clause is the object of the preposition "about", and answers the question "about
Whoever broke the vase will have to pay for it.
This noun clause is the subject of the verb "will have to pay," and answers the question "who will have to pay?"
The Toronto fans hope that the Blue Jays will win again. This noun clause is the object of the verb "hope", and answers the question "what do the fans
An Adjective clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adjective in another clause or phrase. Like an adjective, an adjective clause modifies a noun or pronoun, answering questions like "which?" or "what kind of?" Consider the following examples:
Adjective: The red coat.
Adjective clause: The coat which I bought yesterday.
Like the word "red" in the first example, the dependent clause "which I bought yesterday" in the second example modifies the noun "coat". Note that an adjective clause usually comes after what it modifies, while an adjective usually comes before.
In formal writing, an adjective clause begins with the relative pronouns "who(m)," "that", or "which." In informal writing or speech, you may leave out the relative pronoun when it is not
Informal: The books people read were mainly religious.
Formal: The books that people read were mainly religious.
Informal: Some firefighters never meet the people they save.
Formal: Some firefighters never meet the people whom they save. Here are some more examples of adjective clauses:
The meat which they ate was tainted. This clause modifies the noun "meat" and answers the question "which meat?"
About the movie which made him cry This clause modifies the noun movie and answers the question "which movie?"
They are searching for the one who borrowed the book The clause modifies the pronoun "one" and answers the question "which one?"
Did I tell you about the author whom I met? The clause modifies the noun "author" and answers the question "which author?" Adverb clauses:
An adverb clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adverb in another clause or phrase. An adverb clause answers questions such as "when?", "where?", "why?", "with what goal/result?", and "under what conditions?"
Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb in the following example:
Adverb: The premier gave a speech here.
Adverb clause: The premier gave a speech where the workers were striking.
Usually, a subordinating conjunction like "because," "when(ever)," "where(ever)," "since," "after," and "so that", will introduce an adverb clause. Note that a dependent adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence:
Independent clause: They left the locker room.
Dependent adverb clause: After they left the locker room. The first example can easily stand alone as a sentence, but the second cannot - the reader will ask what happened "after they
Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle because the uncle had murdered Hamlet's father.
The adverb clause answers the question "why?"
Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle so that his father's murder would be avenged.
The adverb clause answers the question "with what goal/result?"
After Hamlet's uncle Claudius married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet wanted to kill him. The adverb clause answers the question "when?". Note the change in word order - an adverb clause can often appear either before or after the main part of the sentence. Place
Where the whole Danish court was assembled, Hamlet ordered a play in an attempt to prove his uncle's guilt.
The adverb clause answers the question "where?"
If the British co-operate, the Europeans may achieve monetary union.
The adverb clause answers the question "under what conditions?"
I. Combine each of the following pairs of sentences using appropriate relative pronouns or
This is a powerful motor. The motor is an imported one. Ans: This is a powerful motor which is an imported one.
My uncle is a lucky man. Fate smiles on him in all his ventures.
Ans: My uncle is a lucky man on whom fate smiles in all his ventures.
The jellyfish is an animal. It doesn't have a skeleton.
Ans: The jellyfish is an animal which doesn't have a skeleton.
That's the girl. Her brother is a famous musician.
Ans: That's the girl whose brother is a famous musician.
Ans: This is the pen that was presented to me on my birthday.
He is a project leader. Many trainees admire him.
Ans: He is a project leader whom many trainees admire him.
I visit the park every day. I can get some fresh air.
Ans: I visit the part every day where I can get some fresh air.
II. Identify whether the bolded part in the following sentences are dependent clause
or independent clause:
If you don't fix the car, it will continue to leak oil. (independent clause)
While the car is being fixed, we will need to take the bus. (dependent clause)
I can't go to the movies since I don't have any money. (dependent clause)
Whether he attends the party or not, I have decided to go. (dependent clause)
I will stop playing the drums when you go to sleep. (independent clause)
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