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Unit 13
CLAUSES AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE
MAIN CLAUSES
A clause is a group of words that has a subject
and a predicate and is used as part of a
sentence.
 A main, or independent, clause has a subject
and a predicate and can stand alone as a
sentence.

MAIN CLAUSES

Every sentence must have at least one main
clause, but a sentence may have more than
one. In each of the following examples, both
clauses can stand alone, so both are main, or
independent, clauses.
main clause
 The
main clause
cast bowed, and the audience applauded.

S
V
S
V
MAIN CLAUSES
Main Clause

Main clause
The curtains closed firmly, but the enthusiastic applause
S
V
S
continued.
V
In some cases, both the subject and verb of a main clause may be
compound.
The actors and actresses smiled and bowed, and the audience cheered
S
S
V
V
S
V
and clapped.
V
SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
A subordinate, or dependent, clause has a subject
and a predicate but it can not stand alone as a
sentence.
 A subordinate clause must be attached to a main
clause in order for it to make sense. Subordinate
clauses frequently begin with subordinating
conjunctions or relative pronouns. When the
subordinate clause comes first, a comma
separates it from the main clause.

SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

Subordinating conjunctions:
After
how
till ( or 'til)
although
if
unless
as
In

even if
as much
even though
until
as if
in order that
when
As long as
lest
Whenever
as much as
than
that
though
now that
where
before
as soon as
provided
(that)
wherever
as though
since
while
because
so that
Relative Conjunctions:
Who
Whom
Whose
Whoever
Whomever
Whosoever
Which
Whichever
Whatever
That
What
SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
Here are a few examples of sub.clauses and main
clauses working together:
When the audience applauded, the cast bowed.
The student who directed the play also took a bow.
In the first example, the sub.conjunction when placed before the audience
applauded creates word group with a subject and predicate that can not
stand alone as a sentence.
In the second example, the relative pronoun who begins a sub.clause
that comes between the subject and verb of the main clause.
SIMPLE AND COMPOUND SENTENCES



A simple sentence has only one main clause an no
sub.clauses.
A simple sentence may or may not have compound
subjects or predicates or both.
Exps:




Bobcats stalk. (simple sentence)
Bobcats and lynxes stalk. (simple with compound subject)
Bobcats and lynxes stalk and pounce. (simple with
compound subject and predicate)
Bobcats silently stalk their prey during the night. (simple
with modifiers)
SIMPLE AND COMPOUND SENTENCES

A compound sentence has two or more main clauses
and no sub.clauses.
Bobcats stalk, and lynxes pursue.
 Bobcats stalk, and lynxes pursue, but house cats slink.
 They frightened rabbit ran swiftly; the lynx followed at a
close pace.
Notice that the main clauses of a compound
sentence are usually joined by a comma and a
coordinating conjunction such as and, but, or, nor,
yet, so, or for.
Two main clauses may also be joined by a semicolon to form a
compound sentence.

COMPLEX AND COMPOUND-COMPLEX SENTENCES

A complex sentence has one main clause and
one or more sub.clauses.
 Some
areas become deforested because people
need wood for fuel.
 Because people need fuel, they cut down trees that
have grown for many years.
A compound-complex sentence has more than one
main clause and at least one subordinate clause.
Campers need fuel for cooking, but they should use
stoves that require no wood.
ADJECTIVE CLAUSES
An adjective clause is a sub.clause that modifies a
noun or a pronoun.
 The adj. clause normally follows the word it
modifies.

The hikers who reached the peak were overjoyed.
 The trail, which was rarely used, had been a difficult
one.
 I forgot about the blisters that covered my feet.
 The hiker whom we appreciated most carried the food.

ADJECTIVE CLAUSES

Both relative pronouns (who, whom, whose, that, and
which) and the words where and when may begin adj.
clauses.
 I will always remember the time when I hiked to
Pike’s Peak.
 That is the spot where we set up camp.
 Sometimes the relative pronoun is dropped at the
beginning of an adj. clause.
 Our

camp was the place every hiker loved the most.
[the pronoun “that” has been omitted.]
ADJECTIVE CLAUSES

An adj. clause is sometimes essential to a
sentence; that is, it is needed to make the
meaning of the sentence clear. This type of adj,
clause is called an essential clause.
 One
characteristic that many Native American had
in common was a love of dancing. (must have
clause to complete the meaning)
ADJECTIVE CLAUSES

An adj. clause that is not needed to make the meaning of a
sentence clear is called a nonessential clause. Without it,
the sentence would be perfectly logical.






The Iroquois people of the East, who were farmers, thanked the
spirits for the gift of food.
In the Southwest, where water is scarce, the Pueblo people
performed rain dances.
Both clauses are nonessential.
When choosing between that and which, use that to introduce an
essential clause and which to begin a nonessential clause.
The Cheyenne hunted buffalo, which supplied them with meat
and skins for clothing and shelter. (non)
The animal that was most important to the Cheyenne was the
buffalo. (essential)
ADVERB CLAUSES
An adverb clause is a sub. Clause that modifies
a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. It tells when,
where, how, why, to what extent or under what
conditions.
 Whenever it rains, the river rises. (when)
 The canoe will be safe as long as everyone
remains seated.(under what condition)
 You are paddling harder than I am paddling. (to
what extent)


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