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Clauses in English Language
(Wren & Martin)
Ashutosh Agarwal
• What are clauses ?
• Types of Sentences
• Types of Clauses & their properties
– Adverb Clauses
– Adjective Clauses
– Noun Clauses
Clause ?
Group of words that forms part of a sentence,
has a Subject & a predicate of its own
Types of sentences
• Simple
• Compound
• Complex
We need this study to understand the
occurrence of clauses in various forms
Simple Sentences
• Simple
– 1 subject, 1 predicate, only 1 Finite Verb
– His courage won him honour.
The finite forms of a verb are the forms where the verb shows tense,
person or number.
Compound Sentences
• Made up of 2 (or more) independent clauses
(Main) (all of same rank)
• Joined by co-ordinating conjunction and
– Ram went to Nagpur and Shyam went to Pune
– Night came on and rain fell heavily and we all got very wet.
• Types
Types of Compound Sentences
• Copulative: main clauses are simply coupled
– God made the country and man made the town.
– Babar was not only a great soldier, he was also a
wise ruler.
– He cannot speak, nor can he write.
– He plays the piano, he sings also.
– The innocent were punished as well as the guilty.
Types of Compound Sentences
• Adversative: two main clauses are opposed in
– He is slow, but he is sure.
– I did my best, nevertheless I failed.
– He is rich, yet he is not happy.
– He is vain, still his friends adore him.
Types of Compound Sentences
• Alternative or Disjunctive: main clauses are
disjoined in meaning
– She must weep, or she must die.
– Either he is mad, or he feigns madness.
– Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
– Walk quickly, else you will not overtake him.
Types of Compound Sentences
• Illative: the second clause draws an inference from
the first
– He is diligent, therefore he will succeed.
– He is unwell, so he cannot attend office.
– The angels are equal, consequently the sides are
Compound sentences: other stuff
• Contracted subject
• He chid their warnings, but relieved their pain.
• = He chid their warnings, but he relieved their pain.
• Contracted verb
• Some praise the work and some the architect.
• = Some praise the work and some praise the architect
• No connecting word may be used
– Temperance promotes health, intemperance destroys it.
Complex sentences
• They rested when the night came on.
• When night came on cannot be a sentence by itself
– Hence lower rank
– Called subordinate clause
• Complex sentence contains
– One main clause
– One or more subordinate clauses
• Examples
Compound part
– Anil called at 5:30 and I told him that you had gone out
Main Clause
Main Clause
Subordinate Clause
Three kinds of subordinate clauses
• Adverb clause
• Adjective clause
• Noun clause
Adjective Clauses
Phrase !!!!
• Play the role of an adjective
• The umbrella with a broken handle is mine
• The umbrella which has a broken handle is mine
– [Which umbrella ?]
Adverb Clause !!!
• Second sentence contains a subject & a
Special properties of Adjective Clause
• Introduced by a relative pronoun or relative
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown
He is the man whom we all respect
The time when the boat leaves is not yet fixed
The reason why I did it is obvious
• Relative pronoun (or adverb) may be missing
– Eat all ^ you can (that is understood)
– I saw a man ^ I know (whom is understood)
– Where’s the book ^ he left me ?
Adverb Clause
• Clause the playing the role of a adverb
– E.g., They rested when evening came.
• Not a phrase since
• Subject=evening &
• predicate = (came when)
• Though like a sentence but inside a sentence
– He fled where his pursuers could not follow.
Adverb Clauses
• Kinds of Adverb Clauses
– Time
– Place
– Purpose
– Clause
– Condition
– Result
– Comparison
– Supposition or Concession
Adverb Clauses: Time
• Introduced by subordinating conjunctions whenever,
while, after, before, since, as
When you have finished your work you may go home.
I will do it when I think fit.
Don’t talk while she is singing.
After the law had been passed this form of crime ceased.
Do it before you forget.
Before you go bring me some water.
There was silence as the leader spoke.
Just as he entered the room the clock struck.
Adverb Clause: Place
• Where, wherever
– I have put it where I can find it again.
– They can stay where they are.
– Where you live I will live.
– He led the caravan wherever he wanted to go.
Adverb Clause: Purpose
• So that, in order that, lest
– I will give you a map so that you find the way.
– We eat so that we may live.
– The UNO was formed in order that countries might
discuss world problems.
– He was extra polite to his seniors lest something
adverse should be written into his records.
– Sleep not lest your Lord come in the night.
Adverb Clause: Cause/Reason
• Because, as, since, that
– Because I believe you, I shall help you.
– I did it because I wanted to.
– Since you are so clever you will be able to explain
– Since you swear to me, I will employ you.
– I am glad that you like it.
– He was very pleased that you have passed.
– As he was not there, I spoke to his brother.
Adverb Clause: Condition (1)
• If, whether, unless
– If I like it, I shall buy it.
– Come, if you wish to.
– If it rains we shall stay at home.
– You must go whether you hear from him or not.
– Whether Ram gives him money or not, he will
speak the truth.
– Unless you work hard you will fail.
Adverb Clauses: Condition(2)
• Sometimes subjordinating conjuct. is ommitted
– What would you answer did I ask you such a question?
– Had I not seen this with my own eyes I would not have
believed it.
• Sometimes introduced by a relative pronoun (adjec,
adverb) without any antecedent
– Whatever happens keep calm.
– Don’t annoy him whatever you do.
– Whatever may be the result, I shall refuse.
Adverb Clause: Result/Consequence
• That (So or such may precede principal clause)
He is such a good man that all respect him.
So great a fire raged that London was burnt down.
Romans built in such a way that their walls are intact.
He spoke in such a low voice that few could hear him.
• Sometimes subordinating conjunction is dropped
– He was so weak ^ he could not speak.
– I am so deaf ^ I cannot hear thunder.
– It was so late ^ I waited no longer.
Adverb Clause: Comparison
• 1. Adv. Clause of comparison of degree
– Than, as (relative adverb)
• He is older than he looks.
• No one can run faster than Rama.
• It is later than I thought.
• He is as stupid as he is lazy.
• He is not so clever as you think.
– Verb of degree of comparison is often understood and not
• Nobody knows it better than I. [do]
• Few are better leader than he. [is]
• You like curry better than I. [like it].
Adverb Clause: Comparison
• Adv. Clause of comparison of manner
– As (relative adverb)
You many do as you please.
It all ended as I expected.
As you have made your bed so you must lie on it.
As he has lived so will he die.
As the twig is bent the branch will grow.
Adverb Clause : Supposition/Concession
• Though, although, even if
– Though I am poor I am honest.
– He set sail though the storm threatened.
– I shall be able to get in although I have no ticket.
– Although I forbade this you have done it.
– Even if it rains I shall come.
– I would not do it even if you paid me.
Suppostion: an idea or a statement believed or assumed to be true
Concession: failure to challenge, thus assumed to be true
Noun Clauses
• Play the role of noun
– I expect to get a prize.
– I expect that I shall get a prize.
• [Expect what ?]
– 1st is phrase, 2nd clause
– That you have come pleases me
Noun clause can be a __
1. Subject of a verb
That you should say so surprises me.
What he said was true
2. The object of a transitive verb
- He says that he won’t go.
- Tell me where you live.
3. The object of a preposition
- Pay careful attention to what I am going to say.
Noun clause can be a __
4. In apposition to a noun or pronoun
Your statement that you found money in the
street will not be believed.
You must never forget this, that honesty is the
best policy.
Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements,
normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element
serving to define or modify the other.
E.g., my friend Ram, here Ram is an oppostion to my friend
Noun clause can be a __
5. The complement of a verb of incomplete
– My belief is that he will not come.
– Her constant prayer was that the child might live.
– Life is what we make it.
– This is where I live.
– My wish is that I may please you.
Incomplete predication: Consider the sentence He looks upset.
You have to supply a word like upset (or tired, sad, happy, cheerful etc.) to make the sense
complete. Looks is therefore a verb of incomplete predication.
Thank You !
Something more …
• Apposition is a grammatical construction in which
two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed
side by side, with one element serving to define or
modify the other.
– E.g., my friend Ram, here Ram is an oppostion to my friend