Clauses are defined as the group of words that have a subject and a predicate. It is a part of sentence that contains a subject and a finite verb.
(1) I am going home.
(2) Sheela speaks loudly.
In the above examples, ‘I’ and ‘Sheela’ are the subject, while ‘going’ and ‘speaks’ are the finite verb.
Kinds of Clauses
There are three kinds of clauses that are given below.
(1) Principal Clause
(2) Coordinate Clause
(3) Subordinate Clause
(1) Principal Clause : Principal clause is the clause, that requires no conjunction. It can stand alone as a sentence. It is also called independent clause as it does not depend on another clauses.
(1) I met a friend who helped me a lot.
(2) I saw a man who was crying.
(2) Coordinate Clause : Coordinate clause is an independent clause that joins two principal clauses often with a coordinating conjunction such as and, but, or both, yet, still etc.
(1) I will go home and he will go to work.
(2) He is poor but he is very honest.
(3) Subordinate Clause : Subordinate clause / Dependent clause is the clause that starts with a conjunction. It cannot stand alone as a complete sentence as it depends on the other clause to give a complete meaning.
(1) They contacted the customer who had not paid the bill.
(2) Though he was ill, he went to school.
Subordinate clause is further classified into three categories on the basis of their function.
(A) Noun Clause
(B) Adjective Clause
(C) Adverb Clause
(A) Noun Clause : Noun clauses are those clauses that perform the function of a noun in a sentence. It is also called nominal clauses.
Noun clauses are used
(1) As a subject
(2) As an object
(3) As an object of a preposition
(4) As a predicative nominative
Functions of a noun clause are as follows…
Noun clause as a subject of the verb :
(1) Whatever you do to me, will be forgiven.
(2) She asked me where I was going.
In the above examples, the bold part of the sentences used as the subject of the sentences.
Noun clause as an object of the verb :
(1) I don’t understand what he is doing.
(2) She told me that she would resign.
In the above examples, the bold part used as the object of the verb ‘understand’ and ‘told’.
Noun clause as an object of the preposition :
(1) Please listen to what he says.
(2) I find no sense in what you spoke to her.
The bold part of the above examples, functioning as the object of the preposition ‘to’ and ‘in’.
Noun clause as a predicative nominative :
(1) The biggest problem in life is that people take it so seriously.
(2) It is what I mean.
The bold part of the above examples is a dependent clause which is functioning as a predicative nominative for the subject.
(B) Adjective Clause : Adjective clause does the work of an adjective. It qualifies a noun or a pronoun in the principal or any other subordinate clause.
Study the following examples carefully…..
(1) He is the man, who is honest. (Qualifying the noun ‘man’)
(2) The time, when he will come, is not certain. (Qualifying the noun ‘time’)
(3) Those, who are honest, succeed in life. (Qualifying the pronoun ‘those’)
(4) I gave him the pen, which I bought for myself. (Qualifying the noun ‘pen’)
(C) Adverb Clause : An Adverb clause is a subordinate clause that does the work of an adverb. It, therefore, modifies some adjective or verb.
Adverb clauses are classified as follows….
Adverb Clause of Time : An adverb clause of time shows when something happens. These clauses are introduced by conjunctions of time such as ‘when’ as, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, until, till, whenever, since, etc.
(1) I get up before the Sun rises.
(2) She cooked after her husband went to market.
Adverb Clause of Condition : Adverb clause of condition describes the condition under which the action takes place in the sentence. These clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunction ‘if, unless, on condition that, provided, in case, etc.
(1) I will go if he comes.
(2) You can’t pass unless you study sincerely.
Adverb Clause of Purpose : Adverb clause of purpose tells about the purpose which the verb is addressing.
These clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions ‘that, so that, in order that and lest.’
(1) He worked hard so that he could succeed.
(2) Run fast lest you should miss the train.
Adverb Clause of Place : Adverb clause of place tells where the action described by the main verb takes place. These clauses are introduced by conjunctions ‘where, and ‘wherever’.
(1) This is the room, where I lived in.
(2) This is the hotel, where she was murdered.