Independent clauses

*These are groups of words with a subject and a verb, expressing a complete thought or idea, and can stand on their own. In a case where there is no dependent clause, these are simple sentences.

*Look at the sentences on the board:

a. The girl who is standing in the picture wants to dry-clean a shirt.

*The girl wants to dry-clean a shirt

b. This woman stands when she is doing laundry.

*This woman stands.

c. Can someone tell me how she washes the dresses?

*Can someone tell me?

Dependent clauses

*These are groups of words introduced by subordinating conjunctions like, because, whenever, that, wh- words, how, or relative pronouns like which, whose, whom, that add information to the independent clause. Look at the sentences above you will notice these clauses cannot stand on their own.

a.      who is standing in the picture.

b.      when she is doing laundry.

c.       how she washes the dresses.

Types of dependent clauses


a. The Adverbial clause

* We already saw the adverbial clause to be a dependent clause that answers the questions when, how where, why, to what degree?

1. This woman stands up when she is doing laundry/ Question: When does she stand up Answer; When she is doing laundry.

2. I cannot see how she does the washing./ He is proud because of the way he looks at himself./

3. He is cleaner than some women **To what degree is he clean?***He is cleaner than some women (are)

b. Adjectival clauses

** These clauses usually begin with the relative pronoun like ‘that’, ‘which’, ‘who’, ‘whom’, ‘whose’

That’ and ‘which’ are used with objects or things while ‘who’, ‘whom’ and some adverbial pronouns like ‘where’, ‘when’

***They are linked to nouns by these words to describe them and so essential to the sentence. Examples: The girl who is standing in the picture wants to dry-clean a shirt./The hill on which he is standing could be 30m high./                                          NB: In case they are not essential, they are separated by commas. Example: The Secretary General, who hails from Poland, supports refugees.

c. Nominal clauses

* As subject in a sentence: /What you eat in the morning lacks nutrients/Where he goes to each day remains a puzzle

**subjective complement:/ You are what you make people see.

***As direct object complement: Some one should tell me how the incident happened.

****As indirect object complement: This proud man gave what you analysed little attention./ He paid little attention to what you analyzed.

***** with expletive: (unnecessary) whether, if, that, why. Example: The fact that Achimedes is in a history book makes me wonder if he is a historian./ The question is whether I survive.

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