What is a clause?
A clause is a part of a sentence. There are two main types: independent (main clauses), dependent (subordinate clauses). Independent Clauses
An independent clause is a complete sentence; it contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought in both context and meaning. For example: The door opened.
Independent clauses can be joined by a coordinating conjunction to form complex or compound sentences. Co-ordinating Conjunctions
For example: Take two independent clauses and join them together with the conjunction and: " The door opened." "The man walked in." = The door opened and the man walked in.
A dependent (subordinate) clause is part of a sentence; it contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. They can make sense on their own, but, they are dependent on the rest of the sentence for context and meaning. They are usually joined to an independent clause to form a complex sentence. Dependent clauses often begin with a a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun (see below) that makes the clause unable to stand alone. Subordinating Conjunctions
| even if
| even though
in order that
| provided that
| rather than
| so that
The door opened because the man pushed it.
Dependent clauses can be nominal, adverbial or adjectival. A nominal clause (noun clause) functions like a noun or noun phrase. It is a group of words containing a subject and a finite verb of its own and contains one of the following: that | if | whether For example:
* I wondered whether the homework was necessary....
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