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English Grammer
General English
introducing clauses
A clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb. Any simple
sentence is a clause. Unlike phrases, clauses include both a subject and a verb.
The specific types of clauses are the following:
➲ A main or independent clause is a group of words that can stand
alone. ‘‘Jeremiah was a bullfrog’’ is such a clause.

➲ A subordinate or dependent clause is a group of words that
cannot stand alone. This clause needs to be accompanied by a main
or independent clause to make sense. In the sentence, ‘‘Moe went to
the department store after she finished her drawings,’’ the subordinate
or dependent clause is after she finished her drawings, and the main or
independent clause is Moe went to the department store.

The three types of subordinate or dependent clauses are these:

➲ The adverb clause is a group of words that functions as an adverb.
In the sentence, ‘‘While Nick was riding his bike, he saw his friends
walking along the street,’’ the adverb clause is While Nick was riding
his bike.

➲ The adjective clause is a group of words that functions as an adjective.
In the sentence, ‘‘Doris is the woman who designed the mural,’’ the
adjective clause who designed the mural describes the woman.

➲ The noun clause is a group of words that functions as a noun. In the
sentence, ‘‘This is what the doctor recommended to me,’’ the noun
clause is what the doctor recommended to me. The clause functions as a
predicate nominative.



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