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University of Kosovska Mitrovica

Department: English Language and Literature

Term paper CLAUSES

Mentor: Dragana Spasi, Ph.D. Student: Danijela Cvetkovi Index no: 234

Clause
Definition
A clause is a group of related words containing a subject and a verb. A clause can be usefully distinguished from a phrase, which is a group of related words that does not contain a subject-verb relationship, such as "in the morning" or "running down the street" or "having grown used to this harassment." A review of the different kinds of phrases might be helpful. In grammar, a clause is a word or group of words ordinarily consisting of a subject and a predicate, although in some languages and some types of clauses, the subject may not appear explicitly. (This is especially common in null subject languages.) The most basic kind of sentence consists of a single clause; more complicated sentences may contain multiple clauses. Indeed, it is possible for one clause to contain another. Clauses are often contrasted with phrases. Traditionally, a clause was said to have both a finite verb and its subject, whereas a phrase either contained a finite verb but not its subject (in which case it is a verb phrase) or did not contain a finite verb. Hence, in the sentence "I didn't know that the dog ran through the yard", "that the dog ran through the yard" is a clause, as is the sentence as a whole, while "the yard", "through the yard", "ran through the yard", and "the dog" are all phrases. Modern linguists do not draw quite the same distinction, however, the main difference being that modern linguists accept the idea of a non-finite clause, a clause that is organized around a non-finite verb.

Dependent and independent clauses


Clauses are generally classified as either dependent or independent. An independent clause can stand alone as a complete simple sentence, whereas a dependent clause must be connected to or part of another clause. The dependent clause is then described as subordinate to a main clause, or (if it is part of a larger clause) as embedded in a matrix clause.

Independent Clause (IC)


An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is a sentence. Example: Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz. (IC)

Dependent Clause (DC)


A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence. Often a dependent clause is marked by a dependent marker word. Example: When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz . . . (DC) (What happened when he studied? The thought is incomplete.)

Dependent Marker Word (DM)


A dependent marker word is a word added to the beginning of an independent clause that makes it into a dependent clause. Example: When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, it was very noisy. (DM) Some common dependent markers are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while. Examples in English include the following:

"I went to the store" (independent) "because I went to the store" (dependent) "after I went to the store" (dependent) "me to go to the store" (dependent; non-finite), as in "He wanted me to go to the store." "that I went to" (dependent), as in "That's the store that I went to."

Connecting dependent and independent clauses


There are two types of words that can be used as connectors at the beginning of an independent clause: coordinating conjunctions and independent marker words. 1. Coordinating Conjunction (CC) The seven coordinating conjunctions used as connecting words at the beginning of an independent clause are and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet. When the second independent clause in a sentence begins with a coordinating conjunction, a comma is needed before the coordinating conjunction: Example: Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, but it was hard to concentrate because of the noise. (CC) 2. Independent Marker Word (IM)

An independent marker word is a connecting word used at the beginning of an independent clause. These words can always begin a sentence that can stand alone. When the second independent clause in a sentence has an independent marker word, a semicolon is needed before the independent marker word. Example: Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz; however, it was hard to concentrate because of the noise. (IM) Some common independent markers are: also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, and therefore.

Functions of dependent clauses


One major way to classify dependent clauses is by function; that is, by the roles they play in the clauses they are subordinate to. Since the same dependent clause might have different roles in different sentences, this classification must be applied on a per-sentence basis. Under this classification scheme, there are three main types of dependent clauses: noun clauses, adjective clauses, and adverb clauses, so called for their syntactic and semantic resemblance to noun phrases, adjective phrases, and adverbials, respectively. The exact uses of each vary somewhat from language to language, but a noun clause typically acts as the subject of a verb or as the object of a verb or preposition, as in these English examples:

"What you say is not as important as how you say it." "I imagine that they're having a good time." "I keep thinking about what happened yesterday."

(Incidentally, note that the word that is actually optional in the second sentence, highlighting a complication in the entire dependent/independent contrast: "They're having a good time" is a complete sentence, and therefore an independent clause, but in "I imagine they're having a good time", it acts as a dependent clause.) An adjective clause modifies a noun phrase. In English, adjective clauses typically come at the end of their noun phrases:

"The woman I spoke to said otherwise." "We have to consider the possibility that he's lying to us."

An adverb clause typically modifies its entire main clause. In English, it usually precedes or follows its main clause:

"When she gets here, all will be explained."

"He was annoyed by the whole thing, which was unfortunate, but unavoidable."

Nonetheless, sometimes the line between categories is blurry, and in some languages it can be difficult to apply these classifications at all. Sometimes, more than one interpretation is possible, as in the English sentence "We saw a movie, after which we went dancing", where "after which we went dancing" can be seen either an adjective clause ("We saw a movie. After the movie, we went dancing.") or as an adverb clause ("We saw a movie. After we saw the movie, we went dancing."). More complicated, sometimes the two interpretations are not synonymous, but both are intended, as in "Let me know when you're ready", where "when you're ready" functions both as a noun clause (the object of know, identifying what knowledge is to be conveyed) and as an adverb clause (specifying when the knowledge is to be conveyed).

Structures of dependent clauses


The other major way to classify dependent clauses is by their structure, though even this classification scheme does make some reference to the clause's function in a sentence. This scheme is more complex, as there are many different ways that a dependent clause can be structured. In English, common structures include:

Many dependent clauses, such as "before he comes" or "because they agreed", consist of a preposition-like subordinating conjunction, plus what would otherwise be an independent clause. These clauses act much like prepositional phrases, and are either adjective clauses or adverb clauses, with many being able to function in either capacity. Relative clauses, such as "which I couldn't see", generally consist of a relative pronoun, plus a clause in which the relative pronoun plays a part. Relative clauses usually function as adjective clauses, but occasionally they function as adverb clauses; in either case, they modify their relative pronoun's antecedent, and follow the phrase or clause that they modify. Fused relative clauses, such as "what she did" (in the sense of "the thing she did"), are like ordinary relative clauses except that they act as noun clauses; they incorporate their subjects into their relative pronouns. Declarative content clauses, such as "that they came", usually consist of the conjunction that plus what would otherwise be an independent clause, or of an independent clause alone (with an implicit preceding that). For this reason, they are often called that clauses. Declarative content clauses refer to states of affairs; it is often implied that the state of affairs is the case, as in "It is fortunate that they came", but this implication is easily removed by the context, as in "It is doubtful that they came." Interrogative content clauses, such as "whether they came" and "where he went" (as in "I don't know where he went"), are much like declarative ones, except that they are introduced by interrogative words. Rather than referring to a state of

affairs, they refer to an unknown element of a state of affairs, such as one of the participants (as in "I wonder who came") or even the truth of the state (as in "I wonder whether he came"). Small clauses, such as "him leave" (as in "I saw him leave") and "him to leave" (as in "I wanted him to leave"), are minimal predicate structures, consisting only of an object and an additional structure (usually an infinitive), with the latter being predicated to the former by a controlling verb or preposition.

Words We Use to Talk about Clauses


Learning the various terms used to define and classify clauses can be a vocabulary lesson in itself. This digital handout categorizes clauses into independent and dependent clauses. This simply means that some clauses can stand by themselves, as separate sentences, and some can't. Another term for dependent clause is subordinate clause: this means that the clause is subordinate to another element (the independent clause) and depends on that other element for its meaning. The subordinate clause is created by a subordinating conjunction or dependent word. An independent clause, "She is older than her brother" (which could be its own sentence), can be turned into a dependent or subordinate clause when the same group of words begins with a dependent word (or a subordinating conjunction in this case): "Because she is older than her brother, she tells him what to do." Clauses are also classified as restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. (The words essential and nonessential are sometimes used and mean the same thing as restrictive and nonrestrictive, respectively. British grammarians will make this same distinction by referring to clauses with the terms defining and non-defining.) A nonrestrictive clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence; it can be removed from the sentence without changing its basic meaning. Nonrestrictive clauses are often set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma or a pair of commas (if it's in the middle of a sentence).

Professor Villa, who used to be a secretary for the President, can type 132 words a minute.

Relative clauses are dependent clauses introduced by a Relative Pronoun (that, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, whose, and of which). Relative clauses can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. In a relative clause, the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb (remember that all clauses contain a subject-verb relationship) and refers to (relates to) something preceding the clause.

Giuseppe said that the plantar wart, which had been bothering him for years, had to be removed.

(In this sentence, the clause in this color is a restrictive [essential] clause [a noun clause see below] and will not be set off by a comma; the underlined relative clause [modifying "wart"] is nonrestrictive [nonessential it can be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence] and, is set off by commas.) Some relative clauses will refer to more than a single word in the preceding text; they can modify an entire clause or even a series of clauses.

Charlie didn't get the job in administration, which really surprised his friends. Charlie didn't get the job in administration, and he didn't even apply for the Dean's position, which really surprised his friends.

A relative clause that refers to or modifies entire clauses in this manner is called a sentential clause. Sometimes the "which" of a sentential clause will get tucked into the clause as the determiner of a noun:

Charlie might very well take a job as headmaster, in which case the school might as well close down.

Independent Clauses
Independent Clauses could stand by themselves as discrete sentences, except that when they do stand by themselves, separated from other clauses, they're normally referred to simply as sentences, not clauses. The ability to recognize a clause and to know when a clause is capable of acting as an independent unit is essential to correct writing and is especially helpful in avoiding sentence fragments and run-on sentences.. Needless to say, it is important to learn how to combine independent clauses into larger units of thought. In the following sentence, for example,

Bob didn't mean to do it, but he did it anyway.

we have two independent clauses "Bob didn't mean to do it" and "he did it anyway" connected by a comma and a coordinating conjunction ("but"). If the word "but" is missing from this sentence, the sentence would be called a comma splice: two independent clauses would be incorrectly connected, smooshed together, with only a comma between them. Furthermore, a long series of clauses of similar structure and

length begins to feel monotonous, leading to what is called "Dick and Jane" or primer language (after the kind of prose that we find in first grade textbooks or "primers"). Clauses are combined in three different ways: coordination, subordination, and by means of a semicolon. Coordination involves joining independent clauses with one of the coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and sometimes so. Clauses thus connected are usually nicely balanced in length and import.

Ramonita thought about joining the church choir, but she never talked to her friends about it.

Subordination involves turning one of the clauses into a subordinate element (one that cannot stand on its own) through the use of a Subordinating Conjunction (sometimes called a dependent word) or a Relative Pronoun. When the clause begins with a subordinating word, it is no longer an independent clause; it is called a dependent or subordinate clause because it depends on something else (the independent clause) for its meaning. There are other ways of combining ideas by turning independent clauses into various kinds of modifying phrases.

Although Ramonita often thought about joining the choir, she never talked to her friends about it. Ramonita never talked to her friends about joining the choir, because she was afraid they would make fun of her. Yasmin is Ramonita's sister. Yasmin told Ramonita to join the choir no matter what her friends said. Joining these with the use of a relative clause: Yasmin, [who is] Ramonita's sister, told Ramonita to join the choir. . . .

Semicolons can connect two independent clauses with or without the help of a conjunctive adverb (transitional expression). Semicolons should be used sparingly and only when the two independent clauses involved are closely related and nicely balanced in terms of length and import.

Ramonita has such a beautiful voice; many couples have asked her to sing at their wedding. Ramonita's voice has a clear, angelic quality; furthermore, she clearly enjoys using it.

Dependent Clauses
Dependent Clauses cannot stand by themselves and make good sense. They must be combined with an independent clause so that they become part of a sentence that can

stand by itself. Unlike independent clauses, which simply are what they are, dependent clauses are said to perform various functions within a sentence. They act either in the capacity of some kind of noun or as some kind of modifier. There are three basic kinds of dependent clauses, categorized according to their function in the sentence.

Adverb clauses provide information about what is going on in the main (independent) clause: where, when, or why. "When the movie is over, we'll go downtown." or "John wanted to write a book because he had so much to say about the subject." Adjective clauses work like multi-word adjectives. "My brother, who is an engineer, figured it out for me." or "The bridge that collapsed in the winter storm will cost millions to replace." A special kind of adjective clause begins with a relative adverb (where, when, and why) but nonetheless functions as adjectivally. Noun clauses can do anything that nouns can do. "What he knows [subject] is no concern of mine." or "Do you know what he knows [object]?" or "What can you tell me about what he has done this year [object of the preposition "about"]?"

Elliptical Clauses
Elliptical Clauses are grammatically incomplete in the sense that they are missing either the relative pronoun (dependent word) that normally introduces such a clause or something from the predicate in the second part of a comparison. The missing parts of the elliptical clause can be guessed from the context and most readers are not aware that anything is missing. In fact, elliptical clauses are regarded as both useful and correct, even in formal prose, because they are often elegant, efficient means of expression.

Coach Espinoza knew [that] this team would be the best [that] she had coached in recent years. Though [they were] sometimes nervous on the court, her recruits proved to be hard workers. Sometimes the veterans knew the recruits could play better than they [could play].

Proper Punctuation Methods


This table gives some examples of ways to combine independent and dependent clauses and shows how to punctuate them properly.

IC. IC. IC; IC.

I went to the store. I didn't buy any bread. I went to the store; I didn't buy any bread.

IC, CC IC. I went to the store, but I didn't buy any bread. IC; IM, IC. DC, IC. IC DC. I went to the store; however, I didn't buy any bread. When I went to the store, I didn't buy any bread. I didn't buy any bread when I went to the store.

Some Common Errors to Avoid


Comma Splices
A comma splice is the use of a comma between two independent clauses. You can usually fix the error by changing the comma to a period and therefore making the two clauses into two separate sentences, by changing the comma to a semicolon, or by making one clause dependent by inserting a dependent marker word in front of it. Incorrect: I like this class, it is very interesting. Correct: I like this class. It is very interesting. (or) I like this class; it is very interesting. (or) I like this class, and it is very interesting. (or) I like this class because it is very interesting.

(or) Because it is very interesting, I like this class.

Fused Sentences
Fused sentences happen when there are two independent clauses not separated by any form of punctuation. This error is also known as a run-on sentence. The error can sometimes be corrected by adding a period, semicolon, or colon to separate the two sentences. Incorrect: My professor is intelligent I've learned a lot from her. Correct: My professor is intelligent. I've learned a lot from her. (or) My professor is intelligent; I've learned a lot from her. (or) My professor is intelligent, and I've learned a lot from her. (or) My professor is intelligent; moreover, I've learned a lot from her.

Sentence Fragments
Sentence fragments happen by treating a dependent clause or other incomplete thought as a complete sentence. You can usually fix this error by combining it with another sentence to make a complete thought or by removing the dependent marker. Incorrect: Because I forgot the exam was today. Correct: Because I forgot the exam was today, I didn't study. (or) I forgot the exam was today.

Using Clauses as Nouns, Adjectives, and Adverbs


If a clause can stand alone as a sentence, it is an independent clause, as in the following example: Independent The Prime Minister is in Ottawa.

Some clauses, however, cannot stand alone as sentences: in this case, they are dependent clauses or subordinate clauses. Consider the same clause with the subordinating conjunction "because" added to the beginning: Dependent when the Prime Minister is in Ottawa In this case, the clause could not be a sentence by itself, since the conjunction "because" suggests that the clause is providing an explanation for something else. Since this dependent clause answers the question "when," just like an adverb, it is called a dependent adverb clause (or simply an adverb clause, since adverb clauses are always dependent clauses). The clause can replace the adverb "tomorrow" as in the following examples: adverb The committee will meet tomorrow. adverb clause The committee will meet when the Prime Minister is in Ottawa. Dependent clauses can stand not only for adverbs, but also for nouns and for adjectives.

Noun Clauses
A noun clause is an entire clause which takes the place of a noun in another clause or phrase. Like a noun, a noun clause acts as the subject or object of a verb or the object of a preposition, answering the questions "who(m)?" or "what?". Consider the following examples: noun I know Latin. noun clause I know that Latin is no longer spoken as a native language. In the first example, the noun "Latin" acts as the direct object of the verb "know." In the second example, the entire clause "that Latin ..." is the direct object. In fact, many noun clauses are indirect questions: noun Their destination is unknown. noun clause Where they are going is unknown. The question "Where are they going?," with a slight change in word order, becomes a noun clause when used as part of a larger unit -- like the noun "destination," the clause is the subject of the verb "is."

Here are some more examples of noun clauses: about what you bought at the mall This noun clause is the object of the preposition "about," and answers the question "about what?" Whoever broke the vase will have to pay for it. This noun clause is the subject of the verb "will have to pay," and answers the question "who will have to pay?" The Toronto fans hope that the Blue Jays will win again. This noun clause is the object of the verb "hope," and answers the question "what do the fans hope?"

Adjective Clauses
An adjective clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adjective in another clause or phrase. Like an adjective, an adjective clause modifies a noun or pronoun, answering questions like "which?" or "what kind of?" Consider the following examples: Adjective the red coat Adjective clause the coat which I bought yesterday Like the word "red" in the first example, the dependent clause "which I bought yesterday" in the second example modifies the noun "coat." Note that an adjective clause usually comes after what it modifies, while an adjective usually comes before. In formal writing, an adjective clause begins with the relative pronouns "who(m)," "that," or "which." In informal writing or speech, you may leave out the relative pronoun when it is not the subject of the adjective clause, but you should usually include the relative pronoun in formal, academic writing: informal The books people read were mainly religious. formal The books that people read were mainly religious. informal Some firefighters never meet the people they save. formal Some firefighters never meet the people whom they save.

Here are some more examples of adjective clauses: the meat which they ate was tainted This clause modifies the noun "meat" and answers the question "which meat?". about the movie which made him cry This clause modifies the noun "movie" and answers the question "which movie?". they are searching for the one who borrowed the book The clause modifies the pronoun "one" and answers the question "which one?". Did I tell you about the author whom I met? The clause modifies the noun "author" and answers the question "which author?".

Adverb Clauses
An adverb clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adverb in another clause or phrase. An adverb clause answers questions such as "when?", "where?", "why?", "with what goal/result?", and "under what conditions?". Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb in the following example: adverb The premier gave a speech here. adverb clause The premier gave a speech where the workers were striking. Usually, a subordinating conjunction like "because," "when(ever)," "where(ever)," "since," "after," and "so that," will introduce an adverb clause. Note that a dependent adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence: independent clause they left the locker room dependent adverb clause after they left the locker room The first example can easily stand alone as a sentence, but the second cannot -- the reader will ask what happened "after they left the locker room". Here are some more examples of adverb clauses expressing the relationships of cause, effect, space, time, and condition: cause

Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle because the uncle had murdered Hamlet's father. The adverb clause answers the question "why?". effect Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle so that his father's murder would be avenged. The adverb clause answers the question "with what goal/result?". time After Hamlet's uncle Claudius married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet wanted to kill him. The adverb clause answers the question "when?". Note the change in word order -- an adverb clause can often appear either before or after the main part of the sentence. place Where the whole Danish court was assembled, Hamlet ordered a play in an attempt to prove his uncle's guilt. The adverb clause answers the question "where?". condition If the British co-operate, the Europeans may achieve monetary union. The adverb clause answers the question "under what conditions?".

REFERENCES: 1. A University Grammar of English, Randolph Quirk & Sidney Greenbaum, based on A Grammar of Contemporary English by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik, 1973

2.

Advanced Language Practice, Michael Vince, 1994