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Friday, October 18, 2019

What are Clauses of Complex Sentence?

what are Clauses of Complex Sentence?

In the previous lesson, we identified two main types of clauses in a complex sentence. That is independent (or main) clauses and dependent (or subordinate) clauses. Here we are going to analyze the dependent clauses.

Dependent clauses can be divided into 03 categories as;


  1. Noun clauses
  2. Adjective clauses
  3. Adverb clauses
Let us discuss each of the clauses, which is important to thoroughly understand the complex sentence structures.

1. Noun clauses

A noun clause is a group of words that contains a subject & a predicate of its own and does the work of a noun.

Let's see the following examples with special attention to the parts in italics:

  1. I expect to win the race.
  2. I expect that I shall win the race.
  3. That you had met him before makes me surprised.
The first group of words, to win the race, does not contain a subject and a predicate of its own. It is, therefore, a phrase. This phrase is the object of the verb, win and thus it does the work of a noun. Thus it is called a noun phrase.

The second group of words, that I shall win the race, has a subject and a predicate of its own. It is, therefore, a clause. This clause is the object of the verb, expects, and does the work of a noun. Therefore it is called a noun clause.

The third group of words, that you had met him before, is the subject of the verb makes. Therefore it is also a noun clause.

2. Adjective clauses

An adjective clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate of its own and does the work of an adjective.

Let's see the following examples with special attention to the parts in italics:

  1. The bag with a red apple logo is mine
  2. The bad which has a red apple logo is mine.
The first group of words, with a red apple logo, describes the bag and thus does the work of an adjective. But it has no subject and a verb of its own. It is, therefore, an adjective phrase.

The second group of words, which has a red apple logo, also describes the bad and it has a subject and a predicate of its own. It is, therefore, called an adjective clause.

3. Adverb clauses

An adjective clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate of its own and does the work of an adverb.

Let's see the following examples with special attention to the parts in italics:

  1. John stopped working in the evening (When?)
  2. John stopped working when the evening came (When?)
You will notice that both groups of words do the work of an adverb as they modify the verb, stopped. The first group of words, in the evening, is an adverb phrase since it has no subject and predicate of its own.

However, the second group of words, when the evening came, has a subject and a predicate on its own and it is therefore called an adverb clause.

What are Noun Clauses in Complex Sentence?

We have seen that a noun clause is a type of dependent clauses that do the work of a noun in a complex sentence.

Since a noun clause does the work of a noun in a complex sentence, it can be:

  1. The subject of a verb.
  2. The object of a transitive verb.
  3. The object of a preposition.
  4. In apposition to a noun or pronoun.
  5. The complement of a verb of incomplete prediction.
In each of the following complex sentences, the noun clause is the subject of the verb:
  • How he could assist me was his concern.
  • Whether we can start next week seems uncertain.
  • That you did so surprises me.
  • What I said was true.
  • When he will return is uncertain.
  • Why Anne hung herself in mystery.
In each of the following complex sentences, the noun clause is the object of a transitive verb:
  • Please tell me why you did this.
  • I do not know when she will return.
  • I cannot tell what has become of him.
  • I asked the man how old he was.
  • He says that he won’t leave.
  • I hoped that it was not true.
  • She denied that she met him yesterday.
  • Tell me where you like to live.
  • Nobody knows who he is.
  • Ask if he is at the office.
In each of the following complex sentences, the noun clause is the object of a preposition:
  • There were no complaints except that the start was a bit too late.
  • Pay attention to what I am now going to say.
  • There is no meaning in what you said.
In each of the following complex sentences, the noun clause is in apposition to a Noun or Pronoun:
  • You shall never forget this, that honesty is the best policy.
  • It was unfortunate that you were sick that day.
  • Her confession that you found the money in the street will not be believed.
  • His belief that someday he would succeed made him determined.
  • It is feared that they will not return.
In each of the following Complex sentences, the noun clause is used as the complement of a verb of incomplete predication:
  • Her constant belief was that the infant might live.
  • My wish is that I may please you.
  • His great fear is that he may not succeed.
  • I believe that she will not come.
  • Life is what we make it.
  • This is where I live.
A clause coming after a construction consisting of an intransitive verb (particularly the verb to be) and an adjective does the work of noun and is, therefore, treated as a noun clause.

In each the following complex sentences, the noun clause comes after an intransitive verb construction:
  • The sick man was sure that he would recover someday.
  • The boy was afraid that he would fall down.
  • All of us are so keen that you should succeed.
  • They felt very sorry that they lost the match in the end.
From the above examples, it will be seen that a noun clause is generally introduced by the subordinating Conjunction. Sometimes, however, the conjunction that is omitted; as,

I know (that) you did it.

Sometimes, instead of a noun clause introduced by that, the accusative with the infinitive is used.

  • He thought that he was safe there.
He thought himself to be safe there.
  • I believed that he was a true friend.
I believed him to be a true friend.
  • This proved that the man had stolen the horse.
This proved the man to have stolen the horse.
  • We know that Rama is alive.
We know Rama to be alive.

What Adjective Clauses in Complex Sentence?

 As we have seen, an adjective clause in a complex sentence is a type of dependent clauses that do the work of on adjective and so qualifies some noun or pronoun in the independent clause.

An adjective clause is introduced by a relative pronoun or by a relative adverb;

  • Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
  • He is the man whom we all respect.
  • The time when the boat leaves is not yet fixed.
  • The house where the accident occurred is nearby.
  • The reason why I did it is obvious.
Sometimes, however, a  relative pronoun introduces a coordinate clause; as, I met Anne, who (=and he) gave me this letter.

He was using the relative pronoun to introduce the clause. You should note that this clause, who gave me your message, is NOT an adjective clause because it does not identify or describe Anne. This is, in fact, a compound sentence and "who" means "and he".

Now see the following sentence:

He is the boy who broke the window.

The clause, who broke the window, clearly identifies and describes the boy, and is, therefore, an adjective clause.

The relative pronoun or the relative adverb, introducing an adjective clause, is sometimes understood and omitted: as,
  • Drink all (that) you can.
  • I saw a girl (who) I know.
  • where is the food (which) he left for me?
  • On the day (that) you pass the test I will give you a present.
In order English, But was used as a relative pronoun as in the sentences below. In such cases but is equivalent to a relative pronoun followed by not.
  • There was not a woman present but wept to hear such news. [That is, who did not weep to hear such news.]
  • Nor is there a man here but loved our Caesar. [ That is, who did not love our Caesar.]
  • There is no fireside but has one vacant chair. [That not one vacant chair.]
Note that then is sometimes used as a preposition before a relative pronoun in the adjective clause: as
  • They selected Sunil than whom no better boy ever went to school.
  • It was a blow than which no crueler was ever struck.
  • We come to a spot than which my eyes have seldom seen a lovelier.
The infinitive with to is often used as the equivalent of an Adjective Clause
  • Give me some food which I may eat.
give me some food to eat.
  • He has no boots which he can wear.
He has no boots to wear.
  • The doctor has given me the medicine which I must take.
The doctor has given me medicine to take.
  • I have work which I must do.
I have work to do.

What are Adverb Clauses in Complex Sentence?

We have seen that an adverb clause is a type of dependent clauses that do the work of an adverb. It may, therefore, modify, some verb, adjective, or adverb in a complex sentence: as,
  • Strike the iron while it is hot.
  • You are taller than I thought.
  • He ran so quickly that he soon overtook me.
Adverb clauses are of many kinds and may be classified as follows:
  1. Adverb clauses of time
  2. Adverb clauses of place
  3. Adverb clauses of purpose
  4. Adverb clauses of cause or reason
  5. Adverb clauses of condition
  6. Adverb clauses of result
  7. Adverb clauses of comparison
  8. Adverb clauses of supposition or concession

1. Adverb clause of Time

Adverb clauses of time are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions. whenever, while, after, before, since, like, etc.
  • When you have finished your work you may leave.
  • Don't talk loud while she is singing.
  • I will do it when I think fit.
  • They were commanded to wait until the signal was given.
  • Ge comes after night had fallen.
  • Do it before you forget.
  • I have not been well since I returned from London.
  • There was silence as the leader spoke.
  • The doctor always comes whenever he is sent for.
  • The world always will be some so long as men are men.
  • As soon as he heard the news he wrote to me.
  • Just as he entered the room the clock struck.
  • No sooner did he see us than he disappeared

2. Adverb Clauses of Place

Adverb Clauses of place are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions were and whereas,
  • 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.
  • Let him be arrested wherever he may be found.
In order English whence and whither were also used to introduce an adverb clause of place:
  • Go quickly whence you come
  • The wind bloweth whither it listeth

3. Adverb Clauses of purpose

Adverb clauses of purpose are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions so that, so that, and lest. (So that and lest are used in a formal style.)
  • I will give you a map so that you can find the way.
  • we eat so that we may live.
  • UNO was formed so that countries might discuss world problems better.
  • He was extra polite to his superiors lest something adverse should be written into his records.
  • Sleep not lest your Lord comes in the night.
The conjunction that occurred in older English:
  • He drew the sword that he might defend himself.
  • come hither that I may bless thee.

4. Adverb Clauses of Cause or Reason

Adverb clauses of cause or reason are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions because, as, since, that.
  • I am glad that you like it.
  • Since you are so clever you will be able to explain this.
  • He thinks, because he is rich, he can buy justice.
  • Because I like you, I shall help you`.
  • I did it because I wanted to.
  • I did not buy it because I did not like the look of it.
  • Since your father is not at home, I will ask you to take the message.
  • Since you swear to serve me faithfully, I will employ you.
  • He was very pleased that you have passed.

5. Adverb Clauses of Condition

Adverb clauses of condition are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions if, whether, unless.
  • Whether the Rajah gives him blows or money, he will speak the truth.
  • You must go whether you hear from him or not.
  • I shall forgive you on condition that you do not repeat the offense.
  • If I like it, I shall buy it. come if you do not repeat the offense.
  • If it rains we shall stay at home.
  • If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
  • Unless you work harder you will fail.
  • I don't pay it unless he sends me the bill again.
Sometimes the subordinating conjunction is omitted in adverb clauses of condition; as,
  • Had I not seen this for my own eyes I would not have believed it.
  • Had I the wings of a bird I would fly away.
  • He would be happier were he more honest
  • Were an angel to tell me such a thing of you, I would not believe it.
  • What would you answer did I ask you such a question?
Adverb clauses of condition are sometimes introduced by a relative pronoun, or adjective, or adverb (without andy antecedent); as,
  • Whichever road we take we shall be too late.
  • Whatever may be the result, I shall refuse.
  • Whatever happens to keep calm.
  • Don't annoy him whatever you do.
  • However cleverly you may cheat, you will be found at last.

6. Adverb Clauses of Result

Adverb clauses of result or consequence are introduced by the subordinating conjunction that. Frequently so or such precedes it in the principal clause.
  • He is such a good man that all respect him.
  • The Romans built in such a way that their walls are still standing.
  • he spoke in such a low voice that few could hear him.
  • So terrible a disease broke out the very few people survived.
  • Very heavy rain fell so that the rivers were soon in flood.
  • Laws were quickly passed so that this abuse wae checked.
  • He behaved in such a manner that his reputation suffered
  • So cold was it that many died.
The Subordinating Conjunction is often dropped in informal English.
  • He was so weak he could not speak.
  • I am so deaf I cannot hear thunder
  • It was so late I waited no longer
  • He is so old he can hardly walk
  • It was so small I could not see it.

7. Adverb Clauses of Comparison

Adverb Clauses of Comparison are of two kinds:
(i)  Adverb clauses of Comparison of Degree
(ii) Adverb clauses of Comparison of Manner
Adverb clause of comparison of degree is introduced by the subordinating conjunction than, or by the relative adverb as; as,
  • He is old than he looks.
  • No one can run faster than Rama.
  • It is later than I thought.
  • You must work harder than I do.
  • He is as stupid as he is lazy.
  • He is not so clever as you think.
The verb of the adverb clause of comparison of degree is often understood and not expressed; as,
  • Nobody knows it better than I [do]
  • Few are better leaders than he [is]
  • You like curry better than I [like it]
  • It will happen as sure as death [is sure]
  • Not many know the truth of this better than you [know it]
Adverb clauses of comparison of manner are introduced by the relative adverb as; as,
  • You may 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.

8. Adverb Clauses of Supposition or concession

Adverb Clauses Supposition or Concession are introduced by the Subordinating Conjunction though, although, even if.
  • Though I am poor I am honest.
  • Though the heavens fall, justice must be done.
  • Though he slays me yet will I love Him?
  • He set sail though the storm threatened.
  • Although troops had marched all day they fought bravely all night.
  • I shall be able to get in although I have no ticket.
  • Even if he is old he can do a great deal of work.
  • I would not do it even if you paid me.
  • to

What is Clause Analysis of Complex sentence?

So far we identified what a complex sentence is and also identified the different clauses which may form a complex sentence. Then we analyzed in detail each type of clauses and their sentence patterns. In this final stage, we try to analysis complex sentences so that students can identify the various clauses and their relation to each other.

In analyzing complex sentences, the first step should be identifying the independent clause (or the main clause). The next step is to identify the dependent clauses (or subordinate clauses) and each clause's relation to the independent clause.

Let us have a look at the following example:

When the mother asked how he got his leg injured, he replied that he met with an accident.

The above sentence contains 03 dependent clauses:
  1. He replied. (Independent clause)
  2. When the mother asked. (Adverb clause of time modifying the verb, replied)
  3. He met with an accident. (Noun clause being the object of the verb, replied)
Sometimes, a dependent clause can have another dependent clause within it. Let us see an example:

I believe that he did not receive the letter which I sent last week.
  1. I believe. (Independent clause)
  2. That he did not receive. (Noun clause, the object of believe)
  3. Which I sent last week. (Adjective clause, modifying the noun, letter)
Sentences may be more complex in the case of compound-complex sentences where there may be several complex sentences joined by coordinating conjunctions.

Let us see the below example:

Police asked how he found the bag, but he refused to answer since he was scared.

You will notice that there are two independent clauses joined together by but. Note that both independent clauses have dependent clauses.

Let us see another example:

Peter came to Anthony when he says to him at the market, and he told him that he wished to come out of his debt by a marriage with a wealthy lady whom he loves, whose father has left for a profitable business.
  1. Peter came to Another. (Independent clause 1)
  2. when he saw him (Adverb clause of time modifying came in Independent clause 1)
  3. He told him. (Independent clause 2)
  4. That he wished to come out of his debt by a marriage with a wealthy lady. (Noun clause, the object of told of independent clause 2)
  5. Whom he loves. (Adjective clause, modifying lady of Independent clause 2)
  6. Whose father has left her a profitable business? (Adjective clause, modifying lady)
Try to analyze the clauses in the following examples:
  1. I regularly advised him that such business tactics will not result in any profit for him but he never accepted my advice and he continued to follow the same which finally resulted in a huge loss for him.
  2. he was satisfied with the things he had and it will be his pride and pleasure to hand down his business to his children as he received it from those who preceded him.
  3. With reluctance. she accepted the invitations of her olf faithful friend. who once scolded her for refusing meat, but she said that he had become a vegetarian.
  4. I know a doctor with spiritual powers who can cure your illness although your doctor says it is incurable, but it is not possible to meet him immediately since there are thousands of patients are waiting to meet him but you may give it a try.
  5. Whenever there is something that I don't know I tend to search on the Internet but you need to know the reliability of the sites you browse since different sites are there for different purposes.
  6. The Police informed him that he needs to provide the correct information and if the information gives is found to be untrue he will be sued in the Court where you may face severe punishments for providing false information.

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