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    Clauses—Independent and Subordinate

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    charradi myriam

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    Clauses—Independent and Subordinate

    Post by charradi myriam on Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:30 pm

    Clauses—Independent and Subordinate

    A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate and is located within a sentence.
    You may be thinking that this sounds awfully much like the definition of a sentence: subject plus predicate. But the key words here are “located within a sentence.” Sentences can have two or more clauses, each containing its own subject and predicate. Think of it as the difference between a single-family home and an apartment building. The separate house has all the basic elements required in a home together under one roof— kitchen, bedrooms, etc. The apartment building contains more than one unit, or home, each with the same set of basic elements, but those units don’t stand alone, they’re together under one roof. A sentence can be like the house, with just one basic subject and predicate, or it can be like the apartment building, full of units, or clauses, each with its own subject and predicate. Here is an example of a sentences with more than one clause:We tickled his feet, and he begged for mercy.
    There are two clauses here. One is “we tickled his feet,” where the subject is “we,” and the predicate is “tickled his feet.” The other clause is “he begged for mercy,” and there the subject is “he,” and the predicate is “begged for mercy.” This type of clause is called an independent clause.

    An independent clause is a clause that can stand on its own as a sentence because it doesn’t depend on anything else for its meaning.
    Here are two more sentences featuring independent clauses. See if you can identify them before we jump in with the answer:
    Joe is interested in nothing but himself, and this makes him incredibly boring to talk to.
    (Clause #1: “Joe is interested in nothing but himself.” The subject is “Joe” and the predicate is “is interested in nothing but himself.” Clause #2: “This makes him incredibly boring to talk to.” The subject is “this” and the predicate is “makes him incredibly boring to talk to.”)
    None of the guests liked the host, but they all enjoyed themselves at the party.
    (Clause #1: “None of the guests liked the host.” The subject is “none of the guests,” and the predicate is “liked the host.” Clause #2: “They all enjoyed themselves at the party.” The subject is “they all” and the predicate is “enjoyed themselves at the party.”)
    Note that in all these cases, you could have used any of these clauses as a sentence on its own. For example, “None of the guests liked the host. They all enjoyed themselves at the party.”
    The second basic type of clause is the subordinate clause, and its nature is to be clingy. (It is sometimes called the dependent clause.) It can’t end the relationship with the main clause
    in the sentence, because it knows it doesn’t have what it takes to go off on its own.

    A subordinate clause is one that cannot stand on its own as a sentence because it depends on something in the main clause for its meaning.
    A subordinate clause doesn’t contain the main idea of the sentence as a whole, even though it contains a subject and a predicate. Instead, it’s as though all the words in the clause sign a contract agreeing to function as one of three parts of speech, an adjective, an adverb, or a noun, as a means of providing more information about something in the main clause.
    Here’s an example of each type.
    Adjective Clause: I only pretended to read the copy of War and Peace that I brought to the beach.
    The main clause is “I only pretended to read the copy of War and Peace.” The subordinate adjective clause is “that I brought to the beach.” Do you see how this couldn’t stand on its own as a sentence? In this clause, the subject is “I,” and the predicate is “brought to the beach.” The whole clause as a unit modifies the noun “copy” in the main clause by telling us more about it.
    Adverbial Clause: She turns heads because she wears too much perfume.
    The main clause is “she turns heads.” The subordinate adverbial clause is “because she wears too much perfume.” This clause modifies the verb “turns” in the main clause by telling us
    why the turning happens.
    Noun Clause: Alexandra Margaret May Whitinghill Smyth’s problem is that she has too many names for one person.
    The subordinate noun clause here is “that she has too many names for one person.” The subject of the noun clause is “she,” the predicate is “has too many names for one person,” and the whole clause functions as a noun by naming what the problem is.

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