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Clause Definition & Analysis

By Learn English - Sunday, 29 September 2013 No Comments
Some common definitions

Clause “A group of words that forms part of sentence and has a subject and a predicate of its own, is called a clause.”

There are three kind of clause

  • Principal clause – A principal clause make a statement it can stand like an alone sentence.
  • Subordinate clause – “A subordinate clause does the work of a single word or phrase. It has a subject and predicate but does not stand alone.
  • co-ordinate clause – A co ordinate clause is not a component part of any other clause but forms a complete grammatical whole by itself.”

Simple sentence 
 a simple sentence is one which has only one verb, and may have a subject and a predicate, (only one finite verb)

Complex sentence – “A complex sentence contains one principal clause, subordinates clauses are joined to the rest of the sentence and one or more by subordinate conjunction.

Compound Sentence – “A compound sentence is one made up of two or more co ordinate clause.”

Clause Analysis

How to find out clause
Clauses are always made up from finite verbs it’s never made up from gerund, infinitive, or participle.

How to search out principal clause

It becomes so difficult to search out principal clause or subordinate clause differently, for that always remember "subordinate clause" always starts from a "subordinate conjunction", means a sentence that doesn't start with "subordinate conjunction" that is called "principal clause."
Subordinate clauses are as following …

Who, whom, whose, whether, when, were, which, what, how, if, that, as, if, provided, provided that, as though, as much, as far as, in, order that, though, so that so much, so that, So long as, as soon as, according as, since, until, unless, after, before, because, for, in tat then that,  Principal clause never start from above list. Like

For example
 I met the man who was helping the needy.
In this sentence the first clause is “I met the man” and the second one is “who was helping the needy”
The second sentence is "subordinate clause" because it started with subordinate clause “who” So ‘I met the  man” is principal clause .

Analysis of complex sentence
As we know "complex sentence" contents one principal or one "subordinate clause."
There are three types of "subordinate clause."

  • Subordinate noun clause 
  • subordinate adjective clause 
  • Subordinate clause

Subordinate noun clause – the Claus that works like noun,
 it works in five ways

(1):  the subject of verb:
 (where he goes is not known to me)”Where he goes”  is a subject of verb “is”

(2): The object of preposition
Give your hundred percent to what you want to do.
“What you want to do” is a object of “to”

(3): The object of a transitive verb
She told me that she was going to Delhi.
That “she was going to Delhi” is an object of verb “told”

(4): The complement of verb
this is what I told you.
“What I told” is a complement of verb “is”

(5): Case in opposition to a noun 
the rumour that "he committed the murder" has come true.
“That he committed the murder” is case in opposition of noun “rumour”

How to search noun clause in the sentence,
Conjunction “that” (He said that he will come )

adjective & interrogative adverb 
(I know where he came from)

relative or interrogative pronoun 
(I want to know who has done this)

Subordinate Adjective clause 
“An adjective clause is one which does the work of an adjective in relation to some other clause.” (Nesfield)
Adjective clause is the clause that work like adjective, adjective clause is always start from any relative.

pronoun or relative adverb 
for example – this is the man who help me a lot on the way.
“Who help me a lot” is a adjective clause for it is started with relative pronoun “who” .
More examples- 

  • Do you know the place where he lives?
  • She is the lady whom I admire most. 

Some time we find hidden relative pronoun “that” which is understood, in these kind of sentence we first add the relative pronoun and then analysis . Like 

  • return the money I gave you.

“That” is hidden here,

Sometimes “but” is work like relative pronoun, which indicates to  negative sense in this condition, the  clause that start with “but” will called adjective clause.

There was not a soldier but fought bravely to the end.
in the above sentence the mean of “but” is “who did not” ,
(so the sentence fought bravely is called adjective clause)

Some time “than” is work like preposition before the relative pronoun, so the sentence that starts with “than” is also called adjective clause. 
It was a blow than curler could be struck.
In this sentence the mean of “than” is “which is” so it will be called adjective clause.

Adverb clause is one which does the work of an adverb to some verb, adjective, or adverb in some other clause (Nesfiled)
Means adverb clause is always qualify the verb, adjective, adverb of other sentence
the function of adverb clause are as following,

Adverb clause of timethis indicate the time and these clause are, when, while after, before, since, as then, whenever.
Do not disturb while the child is sleeping, 
here the “while” is the “adverb clause of time” 

  •  Apply the brakes as I give you the signal.
  • No sooner did I enter the room than the thief bolted away.
  • Take the rest before you tired,


Adverb of placethe clause that indicate to place is called adverb clause of place these are ,
where, wherever, whence, whither,

  • you should stand where you are

the clause “where you are” is the a adverb clause of place
Adverb clause of purpose – that so that, least 

  • go quickly least you should miss the train.
  • Forgive so that you may be forgiven.

Adverb clause of reason -
as, for, that, because, since, 


  • I take rest because I feel tired.
  • Since you are so clever, I cannot trust you.
  • She is glad that you have come in time.

Adverb clause of condition - 

unless, provided, on condition, whether, if
She will come if you invite her. 
In this sentence “if you invite her” is an “adverb clause of condition” Like

  • I shall not come to you, unless you promise to behave in a well manner.
  • I can forgive you on condition that you do not repeat the same crime. 

Some times connectives like “if” is hidden (Understood) in Adverb clause of condition - like
Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it.
In this sentence “had I not” means “if”. Like
were he more honest, he would have been happier (“were he” means “if he were”)

Adverb clause of result it indicates to any result and mostly starts from that and before the “ so” “so much” start from therefor , clause is also called “adverb clause of result.” 

  • He worked so hard that he secured first division. (That he secured first division an “adverb clause of result”
  • He is so saintly that everybody respects him.
  • I worked hard therefore I passed.
  • He worked in such a defective manner that he fail to get success.

“Adverb clause of comparison” - 
there are two types of adverb clause of comparison


  • Adverb clause of compression of degree. – it indicates to a situation of comparison it mostly starts with subordinate conjunction “than” or relative adverb “as”

He is not foolish as her sister tell. (As her sister tell is a “Adverb clause of compression of degree” )
Her heart is pure as her face is beautiful.
Your health is better than it was before.

  • “Adverb clause of comparison of manner” – it indicates the manner of comparison it starts from relative adverb “as”

As you earn so you must spend. (“As you earn” is an “Adverb clause of comparison of manner”)
“Adverb clause of supposition”- it indicates to any supposition and starts from even if” “ although” “though” like

  • Although they were very busy, they came in time to help us.
  • Although “they were” is a (“adverb clause of supposition”)
  • though he is poor, he is honest.



Analysis of compound sentence 


A compound sentence is one which has one principal Claus and one or more co- ordinate clause to the principal clause, it may or may not have subordinate clause. 

the compound sentence is that contents one principal clause or one or more that one co- ordinate clause or it may or may not have subordinate clause
co ordinate clause is mostly start with  “and” “ but” like 

  • I went to the market and purchase a book.
  • “And purchased a book” is a “coordinate clause”
  • he went to Delhi and meet Mr. President there.
  • I offered to help him but he declined.
  • I put several question to you but you failed to answer any of them.

Some time co-ordinate connective is understood in this situation come (,) or semi comma (;) work like “connective conjunction” some time verb is also hidden in this. Like… 

  • His life is simple, his thoughts sublime.
  • Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
  • Action is life, idleness death.

Some times co-ordinate clause also starts from subordinate clause like 

  • I shall meet you tomorrow, when we shall finalize the plan.
  • In this sentence when means “and then”, clause that start from “when” is co ordinate clause.
  • I found a purse, which I brought home. (“Which” means “and which”)

Some time compound sentence is written in its contracted form, and the same verb is used for both forms like 

  • He is rich but unhappy. 
Here “unhappy” means “but he is unhappy” this is a “co ordinate clause” 
  • Either you must pay or your father .
“or your father” means “or your father must pay” 

Some co ordinate clause starts from 
either….. Or; neither…… nor: else or otherwise
like

  • Work hard or give up your dreams.
  • Neither you nor your sister will get any promotion.
  • Act according to my advice otherwise you will repent.



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