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CLAUSES

In grammar, a clause is a pair or group of words that consists of a subject


and a predicate, although in some languages and some types of clauses the subject
may not appear explicitly as a noun phrase. It may instead be marked on the verb
(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, including clauses contained within clauses.

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. However, modern linguists do not draw the same distinction, as
they accept the idea of a non-finite clause, a clause that is organized around a non-
finite verb.

A clause is a grammatical unit that

• includes, at minimum, a predicate and an explicit or implied subject, and


• expresses a proposition.

1.1 Adjective Clause

An adjective clause--also called anadjectival or relative clause--will meet


three requirements. First, it will contain a subject and verb. Next, it will
begin with a relative pronoun [who,whom,whose,that or which] or a
relative adverb [when,where, or why].

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1.1.1 Introduction

Adjectives Adjectives Clauses


An adjective modifies a noun. "Modify" An adjective clause* modifies a noun. It
means to change a little. An adjective describes or gives information about a
describes or gives information about the noun.
noun. (See chart 6-8, p. 166.)
An adjective usually comes in front of a An adjective clause follows a noun.
noun.

adjective + noun noun + Adjective clauses


(a) I met a kind man (c) I met a man who is kind to everybody
adjective + noun
noun + Adjective clauses
(b) I met a famous man
(d) I met a man who is a famous poet.

noun + Adjective clauses


(e) I met a man who lives in Chicago.

*GRAMMAR TERMINOLOGY
(1) I met a man = an independent clause; it A clause is a structure that has a subject
is a complete sentence. and a verb.
(2) He lives in Chicago = an independent There are two kinds of clauses:
clause; it is a complete sentence. independent and dependent.
(3) who lives in Chicago = a dependent • An independent is a main clause and
clause; it is NOT a complete sentence. can stand alone as a senrence.
(4) I met a man who lives in Chicago = an • A dependent clause cannot stand alone
independent clause + a dependent as a sentence; it must be connected to
clause; a complete sentence. an independent clause.

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1.1.2 Using WHO and WHOM In Adjective Clauses

In (a): He in a subject pronoun. He


(a) The man is friendly refers to We man."
To make an adjective clause, change
he to who. Who is a subject pronoun.
Who refers to "the man."
In (b):An adjective clause immediately
(b) The man who liwes next to me is friendly. follows the noun it modifies.
INCORRECT: The man is friendly who
lives next to me.
In (cl: him is an object pronoun. Him
refers to "the man:
(c) The man was friendly.
To make an adiective clause. change
him to whom.
Whom is an object pronoun
Whom refers to "the man."
(d) The man whom I met was friendly. Whom comes at the beginning of an
adjective clause.
In (d): An adjective clause
immediately follows the noun it
modifies.
INCORRECT: The man was friendly
whom I met.

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1.1.3 Using WHO, WHO(M), And THAT In Adjective Clauses

v In addition who, that can be used as the


(a) The man is friendly. lives next to me. subject of an adjective clause (b) and (c)
have the same meaning
A subject pronoun cannot be omitted:
s v INCORRECT: The man lives next to me
(b) The man who lives next to me is friendly.
is friendly.
(c) The man that lives next to me is friendly
CORRECT: The man who/that lives next
to me is friendly.
In addition to who(m),* that can be
s v used as the object in an adjective
(d) The man was friendly. I met
clause. (e) and (f) have the same
meaning.

o s v
An object pronoun can be omitted from
(e) The man who(m) I met was friendly.
(f) The man that I met was friendly. an adjective clause. (e), (f), and (g) have
(g) The man Ǿ I met was friendly.
the same meaning. In (g):The symbol
"Ǿ" means "nothing goes here."

*The parentheses around the "m" in who(m) indicate that (especially in everyday conversation)
who is often used as an object pronoun instead of the more formal form

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1.1.4 Using Which And THAT In Adjective Clauses

Who and whom refer to


v
people. Whichrefers to things.
(a) The river is polluted flows t hrough the town.
That can refer to either people
or things.
In (a):To make an adjective
clause, change it to which or
s v
(b) The river which flows through the town is polluted. that. It, which, and that all
(c) The river that flows through the town is polluted.
refer to a thing (the river).
(b) and (c) have the same
meaning.
When which and that are used
as the subject of an adjective
clause, they CANNOT be
omitted.
INCORRECT: The river flows
through town is polluted.
Which or that can be used as an
s v object in an adjective clause, as
(d) The books were expensive. I bought
in (e) and (f).
An object pronoun can be
omitted from an adjective
clause, as in (g).
o s v
(e), (f), and (g) have the same
(e) The books which I bought were expensive.
meaning.
(f) The books that I bought were expensive.
(g) The books Ǿ I bought were expensive.

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1.1.5 Singular And Plural Verbs In Adjective Clauses

(a) I know the man who is sitting In (a): The verb in the adjective clause (is) is
singular because who refers to a singular
uver there
noun,man

(b) I know the people who are In (b):The verb in the adjective clause (are) is
plural because who refers to a plural noun,
siting over there.
people.

1.1.6 Using Prepositions in Adjective Clauses

PREP Obj. Whom, which,


(a) The man was helpful. I talked to him and that can be
used as the
Obj. PREP
(b) The man whom I talked to was helpful object of a
(c) The man that I talked to was helpful preposition in
(d) The man Ǿ I talked to was helpful an adjective
clause.
PREP Obj. REMINDER: An
(d) The man to whom I talked to was helpful
object pronoun
can be omitted
from an
adjective
clause, as in (d)
and (i)
In very formal
English, a
preposition
comes at the
beginning of an
adjective
clause, as in (e)
and (j). The

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preposition is
followed by
either whom or
which (not that
or who), and
the pronoun
CANNOT be
omitted

(f) The chair is hard. I am sitting in it (b), (c), (d) and


(e) have the
Obj. PREP
same meaning.
(g) The chair which I am sitting in is hard.
(h) The chair that I am sitting in is hard.
(g), (h), (i), and
(i) The chair Ǿ I am sitting in is hard.
(j) have the
PREP Obj. same meaning
(j) The chair in which I am sitting is hard.

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1.1.7 Using WHOSE In Adjective Clauses
(a) The man called the police . was stolen. whose- shows possession.
In (a): His car can be
changed to whose car
to make an adjective clause.
(b) The man whose car was stolen called the police, In (b): whose car was stolen
= an adjective
clause.
(c) I know a girl is a movie star. In (c): Her bwther can be
changed to whose brother to
make an adjective clause.
(d) I know a girl whose brother is a movie star.
(e) The people were kiendly. We bought In (e): Their house can be
changed to whose house to
make an adjective clause.

(f) The people whose house we bought were friendly.


*Whose and who's have the same pronunciation but NOT the same meaning.
Who's = who is.. Who's (Who is) your teacher)

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1.2 Noun Clauses

1.2.1 Introduction

s v o Verbs are often followed by objects. The


(a) I know his address object is usually a noun phrase.*
(noun phrase)
In (a): his address is a noun phrase;
s v o his address is the object of the verb k n m
(b) I know where he lives
(noun phrase) Some verbs can be followed by noun
clauses.*
In (b): where he lives is a noun clause;
where he lives is the object of the verb
know.

o A noun dause has its own subject and


s v s v verb.
(c) I know where he lives.
In (c): he is the subject of the noun clause;
lives is the verb of the noun clause.
(d) I know where my book is. A noun dause can begin with a question
(noun phrase)
word.
(e) I don't how if Ed is murried. A noun clause can begin with if or whether
(noun phrase)
(f) I how that the world is round. A noun dause can begin with that.
(noun phrase)
*A phrase is s group of related words. It does not contain a subject and a verb.
A clause is a group of related words. It contains a subject and a verb.

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1.2.2 Noun Clauses That Begin With A Question Word
These question words can be used to introduce a noun clouse : when,
where, why, how, who, whom, what, which,whose.

Information Noun Clause Notice in the examples:


Question Usual question word order
(a) Where does he live? (b) I don't know where he is NOT used in a noun
lives. clause.
INCORRECT: I know where
(c) When did they leave?
(d) Do You know when they does he lives.
(e) What did she say? left?* CORRECT: I know where he
(f) Please tell me what she lives.
(g) Whv is Tom absent?
said.
(h) I wonder whv Tom is
absent.
(i) Who came to class? (j) I don't know who came In (i) and (j):Q uestion word
(k) What happened? to class. order and noun clause
(1) Tell me what happened. word order are the same
when the question word is
used as a subject.
*A question mark is used at the end of this noun dause because the main subject and the verb of
the sentence (Doymr know) are in question word order.
Example: do you know when they left?
Do you know asks a question; when they left is a noun clause

1.2.3 Noun Clauses With WHO, WHAT WHOSE + BE

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1.2.4 Noun Clauses That Begin With IF Or Wether

YES-NO QUESTION NOUN CLAUSE When a yes/no


(a) Is Eric at home? (b) I don't how i fEric is at home. question is
(c) Does the bus stop here? (d) Do you know ifthe bus stop changed to a noun
(el Did Alice go to Chicago? her e? clause, if is usually
(f) I wonder if Alice went to used to introduce
Chicago. the clause.*
(g) I don't know if Eric is at home or not. When if introduces a noun clause, the
expression or not sometimes comes at
the end of the clause, as in (g)
(h) I don't know whether Eric is at home (or In (h): whether has the same meaning as
not). if.

1.2.5 Noun Clauses That Begin With THAT

A noun clause can be lnuoduced by


s v o
(a) I think that Mr. Jones is a pod teacher. the word that . In (a): that Mr.
(b) I hope that you can come m the game. Jones is a good teacher. is a noun
(c) Mary realizes that she should study harder. clause. It is the objea of the verb
(d) I dreamed that I was on the top, of a think.That-clauses are frequently
mountain. used as the objects of verbs that
express mental activity. (See the
list below.)
(e) I think that Mr. Jones is a good teacher. The word that is often omitted,
(f) I think Ǿ Mr. Jones is a good teacher especially in speaking. (e) and (f)
have the same meaning.
COMMON VERBS FOLLOWED BY THAT CLAUSES*

assume that feel that learn that read that


believe that hear that notice that say that
discover that hope that predict that suppose that
dream that know thar prove that think that

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*The verbs in the above list are those that are emphasized in the erercises. Some other common verbs that
can be followed by that-clauses are:
agree that fear that imagine that realize that reveal that
conclude that figure out that indicate that recall that show that
decide that find out that observe that recognize that suspect that
demonstrate that forget that presume that regret that teach that
doubt that guess that pretend that remember that understand that

1.2.6 Other Uses Of THAT-Clauses

(a) I'm arm that the bus stops here. Tha-clauses can follow
(b) I'm glad that you're feeling better today. certain expressions
(c) I'm sorry that I missed class yesterday. with be + adjective or be +
(d) I was disappointed that the peace conference failed. past participle.
The word that can be
omitted with no change
in meaning:
I'm sure Ǿ the bus swps
here.
(e) It is true that the world is round. Two common expressions
(f) It is a&ct that the world is round. followed by that clauses
are:
It is true (that) . . . .
It is a fact (that) ....
COMMON EXPRESSIONS FOLLOWED BY THAT-CLAUSES*
be afraid that be dissappoinred that be sorry that It is true that
be aware that be glad that be sure that It is a fact that
be certain that be happy rhat be surprised that
be convinced that be pleased that be worried that

*The above list contains expressions emphasized in the exercises. Some other common
expressions with be that are frequently followed by that-clauses are:
be amazed that be delighud that be impressed that be sad that
be angry that be fortunate that be lucky that be shocked that
be ashamed that be furious that be positive that be terrified that
be asounded that be horrified that be proud that be thrilled that

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