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English Lessons: Clauses

1. Adjective Clauses
Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses. They come after nouns and modify them. In other words, they tell the listener or reader more about the person or thing that the noun refer to. The pronouns that often begin adjective clauses are called relative pronouns ( that, which, who, whom, whose, where) For example:
A person who sweeps the floor on buildings is known as janitor.
A person who sails is a sailor.
The man who sold the red house is a friend of mine.
2. Reducing Adjective Clauses to Adjective Phrases

If the subject relative pronoun is followed by the verb be in any tense, both the relative pronoun and the verb be can be omitted. For example:
The realtor who is selling the house is Ann.--> The realtor who is selling the house is Ann.
The garment that is worn by priests is usually white.-> The garment that is worn by priests is usually white.
3. Relative pronouns as objects

The object relative pronouns for people are who, whom, that. Whom is more formal than who. The object relative pronouns for things are which, that. For example:
The candidate who more votes gets become the president.
The first time that I voted was in 1982.
You may omit the relative pronoun in restricted adjective clauses. For example:
The first time I voted was in 1982.
4. Restricted/Nonrestricted Relative Clauses

The two main types of adjective clauses--restrictive and nonrestrictive-- have distinct meanings and uses.
A restrictive adjective clause gives information that helps to uniquely identify the noun that it describes. For example:
My sister who attends KU is very shy. (I have two sisters. one attends KU , the other doesn't)

A Nonrestrictive adjective clause, on the other hand, adds extra information about the noun it modifies. This information is not necessary to identify the noun. For example:
Mary, who attends KU, is very shy.
Summary

Noun in main Clause

Relative Clause

Rest of main Clause

The man

who called

is an old friend of mine.

The woman

whom I met

lives near my house

The letter

that Mary received

was very important.

The book

which we discussed

was a best-seller.

The writer

whose book we discussed

will visit with us next week.

 

  1. Adjective Clauses
    "The woman who is dressed in red is my mother"
  2. Adjective Phrases
    "The woman dressed in red is my mother."
  3. Restrictive /Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses
    "My brother who is 10 years old starts working today." (restrictive)
    "My brother, who is 10 years old, starts working today." (nonrestrictive)

1. Noun Clauses as Subjects

Noun clauses are that clauses that have a subject and a verb. There is no comma between the main clause and the that clause. For example:
That several students came late to class annoyed the professor.
The fact that you are from South America made you ideal for the job.
It is common in speaking to move the noun clause to the end of the sentence and to put it in the subject position e.g. It annoyed the teacher that Albert smoked in class.
2. Noun Clauses as Objects

In this case, the word that is put before the clause, but it is not required e.g. The teacher reported that Albert smoked in class. or The teacher reported that Albert smoked in class.
3. Noun Clauses made from Questions

Questions can made into noun clauses and become subjects and objects. Noun clauses that are made from information question usually begin with the question word when, who, why, etc. e.g. Amanda wondered why Nick broke up with her.// It is a mystery why Nick broke up with Amanda.
Noun clauses that are made from yes-no questions begin with if, whether e.g. Amanda wonders if Nick will talk to her again. it is unknown whether the weather will be warm or rainy.
4. Reported Speech- Pronouns

We can tell about what someone said in two ways. We can use the exact words of the speaker or writer. This is called quoted speech. We must put quotations marks at the beginning and at the end of the quote. For example:
"I don't like your attitude," Joanna said to Jill.
Another way to tell about what someone said is to change the quote into a noun phrase. This is called reported speech. For example:
Jill said that it wasn't his fault.
5. Reported Speech-Statements

The most common verbs used to report statements are say and tell. When tell is used in reporting speech, it is always followed by a noun or a pronoun indicating the person spoken to. For example:
Mike said that we were going to the beach on the weekend.
Mike told us that we were going to the beach on the weekend.
Other reported speech verbs commonly used are: add, admit, claim, declare, explain, indicate, mention, observe, state, reply, point out, etc.
it is important to note that if a statement was put into reported speech, the reporting verb is usually in the simple past and the verb in the reported statement is usually changed to a past tense.

Simple past         =======> simple past
present progressive =======> past progressive
present perfect     =======> past perfect
will                =======> would
can                 =======> could
6. Reported Speech- Questions

Yes/No questions in reported speech begin with the word if or whether. Information questions (Who, what, etc.) in reported speech begin with the question word and also use the statement word order.
The most common verb to report questions is ask. For example:
"Is the fire under control?" (Mike to John)
Mike asked John if the fire was under control.
"How did you pass the test?" Mary to Pete.
Mary asked Pete how he had past the test.
7. Reported Speech-Imperatives

When we report orders, suggestions, or requests, we can use a verb like tell, order, request, ask, warn, urge plus a noun or pronoun followed by an infinitive. For example:
"Drive carefully," the man said to Cris.
The man told Cris to drive carefully.
"Don't touch the art works," the teacher warned the kids.
The teacher warned the kids not to touch the art works.

An adverb may be a single word such as quickly, here or yesterday (see the page Adverbs), or a phrase such as the day before yesterday or to see my mother (see the page Adverb Phrases). However, adverbs can also be clauses, containing a subject and a full verb. This page will explain the basic types of adverb clauses (sometimes called "adverbial clauses") and how to recognize them.


Adverbs, adverb phrases, and adverb clauses

I saw the movie yesterday.

I saw the movie on Friday.

I saw the movie before I left for Calgary.

In the first sentence, "yesterday" is a one-word adverb, "on Friday" is an adverb phrase, and "before I left for Calgary" is an adverb clause. All of them answer the question "When?", but the adverb clause has a subject ("I") and a full verb ("left"). It is introduced by "before", so it is a dependent clause. This means that it cannot stand alone: "Before I left for Calgary" would not be a full sentence. It needs a main clause ("I saw the movie"). An adverb clause, then, is a dependent clause that does the same job as an adverb or an adverb phrase.


Types of adverb clause

There are many types of adverb clauses. Here are some examples of the most common types:

Type

Question answered

Example

Place

Where?

Wherever there are computers, there is Microsoft software.

Time

When?

After the fruit is harvested, it is sold at the market.

Cause

Why? (What caused this?)

I didn't call her because I'm shy.

Purpose

Why? (What was the reason for doing this?)

She took a computer course so that she could get a better job.

Concession

Why is this unexpected?

Although Jay has a Master's degree, he works as a store clerk.

Condition

Under what conditions?

If you save your money, you will be able to go to college.

As you can see from the examples above, most adverb clauses can be recognized because they are introduced by a particular word or phrase (such as "when", "so that", etc.). These words and phrases are called subordinating conjunctions, and there are many of them, including these:

Subordination conjunctions

after, before, until, while, because, since, as, so that, in order that, if, unless, whether, though, although, even though, where

 

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