Definition of clause
Clause is the combination of words which sometimes gives complete meanings and sometimes not. If it is independent clause it gives complete meanings (that is why it is called independent), whereas dependent clause doesn't give complete meanings. Clause is a bit different from sentence on account of the following.
- Sentence is the unit of complete meanings, whereas dependent clause is dependent on main clause to complete its meanings.
- Sentence is the combination of words from one full stop (period) to another whereas clause has either comma, demonstrative, conjunction (coordinator and subordinator) etc at one or both sides.
- Clause is the part of sentence. Read compound, complex and complex-compound sentences in this chapter.
Clause separated by comma
She said, "I shall be there at 2 o'clock positively."
She said is dependent clause and its meanings are not complete till independent clause I shall be there at 2 o'clock positively is used with it. Both are separated by comma.
Clause separated by demonstrative
He confessed that he had lifted a car.
He confessed and he had lifted a car are two clauses and they are separated by that which is demonstrative.
Clause separated by conjunction
My cousin and his friend are going on picnic tomorrow.
The underlined word is conjunction and it separates two clauses.
There are FOUR clause oriented types of sentences.
- Simple sentence
- Compound sentence
- Complex sentence
- Complex-compound sentence
It is just one-clause sentence, like;
- He is obeying your orders.
- Your capabilities are admirable.
It is the combination of two independent clauses (where both clauses give complete meaning), like;
- He is not fine today therefore
he is on leave.
Therefore is conjunction that divides two clauses with complete meanings.
- He knew there was pitch dark and
he postponed going outside.
and in conjunction dividing two clauses with complete meanings.
They are the sentences which have one dependent (subordinate) and one independent (main) clause, like;
- He came early this morning and
took his class well before the time.
Second clause "took his class well before the time" is dependent clause and its meanings are not complete unless used with the main clause "He came early this morning".
- He pushed me in water and
The second clause "ran away" is dependent and its meanings are complete if used with the first clause "He pushed me in water".
They are the sentences in which three clauses are used in which one must be dependent, like;
- It's very important that you should work harder this time because soon you have to appear in exam.
i.It's very important (dependent clause)
ii.You should work harder this time (independent clause)
iii.Soon you have to appear in exam (independent clause)