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how to identify the clause and type of clause in  the sentence

Asked by Ganpathy 14th September 2015, 6:13 PM
Answered by Expert

Hi Harshita,

There are two types of clauses:

 1) Main or Independent Clause -- The Main Clause of the sentence expresses the main idea and can function as a stand-alone sentence. It contains a subject and a verb. 


 Being an honest man, He returned the purse to its rightful owner.

 2) Subordinate or Dependent Clause -- The subordinate clause depends on the main clause to express its meaning completely. It also has a subject and a verb, but cannot function as an independent sentence. It is preceded by a Subordinate conjunction like Because, Since, Although.


 Although I was full, I still ate another cup of ice cream.

 Types of Subordinate clauses:

 The Noun Clause: The Noun Clause functions like a noun in a sentence


 The book that I bought yesterday is missing today.

 I know that she is a very good friend.

 We can ask What, Who or Whom to the main clause to get the noun clause as the answer.

What is missing? The book that I bought yesterday

What do I know? That she is a very good friend.

 The Adjective Clause: The Adjective clause works like an adjective; it qualifies the noun or the pronoun in the sentence.


The girl who came home yesterday is my friend.

The people whom my aunt invited are coming today.

In the first case, the underlined clause qualifies the noun 'The girl'.

In the second case, the underlined clause qualifies the noun 'The people'

Ask the question Which to the main clause to get the adjective clause.

Which girl is your friend? The girl who came home yesterday.

Which people? The people whom my aunt invited.

The Adverb Clause: The Adverb Clause functions like an adverb in the sentence. It tells us how, when, where, how often and to what extent a verb is done.


We left before the dacoits could return.

Because she is a hardworking person, she was rewarded by the boss.

Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.

In the first case the, underlined clause tells us when we left.

In the second case, the underlined clause tells us why she was rewarded by the boss.

In the third case, the underlined clause tells us where my home is.

Ask questions like when, how, where, how often and why to the main clause to find the adverb clause.

When did we leave? Before the dacoits could return.

Why was she rewarded?Because she is a hardworking person.

Where is my home? Wherever I lay my hat.

Answered by Expert 14th September 2015, 6:25 PM
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