A clause is comprised of a group of words that include a subject and a finite verb. It contains only one subject and one verb. The subject of a clause can be mentioned or hidden, but the verb must be apparent and distinguishable.
A clause is “a group of words containing a subject and predicate and functioning as a member of a complex or compound sentence.” (Merriam-Webster)
- I came to Australia in 2001. (One clause sentence)
- When I came to Australia, I went to university. (Two clause sentence)
- When I came to Australia, I went to university and got a job. (Three clause sentence)
There are 7 types of clauses:
1. Independent clause
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.
2. Dependent clause (also known as subordinate clause)
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.
3. Adjective clause
An adjective clause, which is also called a relative clause, is used within a sentence to provide essential and non-essential information to the reader. It s a type of dependent clause that works to describe a noun in a sentence.
The man who I was speaking to on the phone is a politician.
4. Adverbial clause
An adverbial clause sometimes referred to as an adverb clause, is a group of words that, together, functions as an adverb.
Ahmed plays soccer weekly.
5. Noun clause
A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun. Noun clauses begin with words such as how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, and why
Whoever invented Algebra is a genius!
6. Relative clause
A relative clause is a type of subordinate clause which gives extra information about a noun. It’s connected to the main clause of a sentence using a relative pronoun – words like who, whom, which, that or whose.
He lives in Victoria, which is the education state in Australia.
7. Conditional clause
Conditional sentences consist of a main clause and a conditional clause (sometimes called an if-clause). The conditional clause usually begins with if or unless. The conditional clause can come before or after the main clause.
There are 4 types of conditional clauses:
- Zero conditionals
- First conditionals
- Second conditionals
- Third conditionals