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Clauses What is a clause in general? • a group of related words, centering around TWO parts of speech (a subject and a verb phrase, AKA a predicate), which acts as a complete sentence OR takes on a part of speech and/or has specific functions in the sentence. What’s the difference between a phrase and a clause? • Note: a phrase (in almost all cases) does NOT contain both a subject and a verb • Even if it does (as in the case of the infinitive clause), the verb is not conjugated. • The clause can sometimes stand by itself as a sentence A clause includes the following: • Subject and verb phrase or predicate • objects/complements • modifiers and, if it’s a dependent clause, • Introductory word (in almost all cases) Independent Clause • Independent—a group of words which contain and subject and verb phrase or predicate and which can stand on its own • Main clause • Sentence Dependent Clause • Dependent—a group of words which contains a subject and a verb and which cannot stand on its own as a sentence • Subordinate • Fragment Three ways to make a fragment • Leave out subject • Leave out verb phrase or predicate • Leave out both • Try to make a phrase act as a clause and punctuate it as a clause would be punctuated (big no no) Examples • that Sharon likes so much • if you want oranges • when she found the answer • unless it’s on sale • which rhymes with bloomers Embedded clause: • a clause within another clause • Example: I had to return home from the store because I had forgotten my list of what I had to buy for the party. • Example: If you follow the path toward where your goal lies, you will find success. How do we use clauses in a sentence? • Slightly larger units of the parts of speech • Most common: N, ADJ, ADV (if it’s dependent) OR • The clause IS the sentence (if it’s independent) Caveat • Do not use fragments in formal writing. • Period. Adjective Clause • A group of words which contains a subject and a predicate, which cannot stand by itself, which modifies a noun or pronoun, and which answers the questions “Which one? What kind? Or How many?” Types • Essential vs. Nonessential Restrictive vs. Nonrestrictive • A family that plays together stays together. • Jim Blakely, who served as interim principal for six months, will not move into that position permanently. *************DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!************** • DO NOT punctuate ESSENTIAL adjective clauses with commas. • DO PUNCTUATE NONESSENTIAL adjective clauses with commas. You must put a comma BEFORE and AFTER the clause. If you only use ONE comma, you MAY CAUSE A SPLICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Splices are…terrible. Examples • Essential: (the clause is NECESSARY to understand the meaning of the sentence) • Students who completed their answer sheets correctly will receive their scores in four weeks. NO COMMAS. • • Nonessential: (the clause is NOT NECESSARY to understand the meaning of the sentence) • John Rutter, whom contemporary music critics regard highly, will conduct at Belmont University. (There’s only one John Rutter) • COMMAS NEEDED!!! Hints for finding them… • Adjective clauses are usually introduced by relative pronouns. Who whose whom which that • The house that Jack built stood for years. • It’s an idea whose time has come. • He didn’t tell me that I’d won the lottery! But not always… • BUT they may begin with a relative adverb, such as when or where: • *Do you remember the time when we fell in love? • *Do you remember the time when we first met? Choices… • Of course, you may omit the introductory word and say— • Do you remember the time we fell in love? OR • change it to a NOUN clause and say • Do you remember when we first met ? • • SIDE NOTE: Isn’t the power of the English language AMAZING???????????????????????????? More hints… • They follow immediately after the nouns or pronouns they modify; if they don’t, they may be either dangling or misplaced modifiers… More warnings… • ***Careful here: sometimes adjective clauses can cause wordiness!! NEVER USE THE FOLLOWING IN FORMAL PAPERS: • who is which is that is • Just cross them out and go on without them. • Also, use who/whom for people and which/that for things. Who vs. whom… • Who is nominative • Whom is objective Noun Clause • A group of words that contains a subject and a verb, that cannot stand by itself, that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea, and that answers the questions “Who?” and “What?” Introductory words… • Relative pronouns • Relative adverbs Where will we find them? • Noun clauses may appear anywhere a noun may appear in the sentence. • Noun uses: (list them) Examples • Whatever makes you happy makes me happy, also. • That she broke the law is obvious; how she should be punished is NOT. • Subject • What you want is what I want. • Predicate nominative More examples… • I wish he would stop playing his drums all night long. • Direct object • • Your response to the reporters gave what we were trying to accomplish an unfavorable impression; please stop talking to the press. • Indirect object Even more… • Mr. Happy Wrench has the answer to whatever you ask. • Object of the preposition • • Mr. Morton, hiding what he had bought for his sweetheart behind his back, walked across the street. • Object of the participle And there’s still more… • Hiding what he had bought for his sweetheart behind his back made Mr. Morton lose his balance and fall in front of an oncoming car….. • Object of a gerund • • To save what he had bought for his sweetheart from being broken, Mr. Morton broke his arm, fractured two ribs, and skinned his nose. • Object of the infinitive • • I want whomever you want to be elected to the position, dear. • Subject of the infinitive. This is like the Ginsu commercial, yes? • His essay, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” won a $2 prize. • Nominative appositive • • He didn’t really write his essay, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Shame! • Objective appositive How will we punctuate them? • Nouns are usually essential, except in the case of a nonrestrictive appositive, so we will not usually set off a noun clause with commas. Adverb Clauses • A group of words that contains a subject and a verb, that cannot stand by itself, that modifies a verb/adjective/other adverb, and that answers the questions “When?” “Where?” “Why?” “How?” “To what extent?” “To what degree?” “Under what circumstances?” • Shows manner, place, time, condition, or reason Introductory words • The subordinating conjunction • As, if, unless, until, because, though, even though, than, when, since, etc. • Check a list on the web if you aren’t sure Where do we find them? • Adverbs are loose cannons and can actually appear just about anywhere; however, they really seem to love two primary spots… • Introductory adverb clause—at the beginning of the sentence • Supplementary adverb clause—at the end Punctuation • Introductory elements must have commas, so we punctuate introductory adverb clauses thus. • Supplementary clauses require no punctuation at all; however, you may use a comma with one if it expresses contrast. Less is more in terms of commas. Examples… • If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you? • Whenever you need me, I’ll be there. • If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me… • Where the boys are, someone waits for me… • As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives… • You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone….. • ….apologize to her because she loves you (and you know that can’t be bad…) The elliptical adverb clause • Elliptical clause—part of a clause may be omitted when the meaning can be understood from the context of the sentence. When we leave something out, we call that item elliptical; thus, elliptical clauses are those whose content has been partially omitted! • Helen could run faster than Jeremy (could run). • While (he was) mining for gold, Old Crusty stubbed his toe. Sentences according to structure • IC=independent clause • DC=dependent clause • Phrases don’t count—you can have as few or as many as you want Simple • Simple= 1 IC + NO DC • Beware: a simple sentence can be very long because it’s packed with phrases and compound elements • Don’t be deceived by the compound subject and compound predicate Compound • Compound= 2 IC +NO DC • IC , and (or any coord. Conj.) IC • IC; IC • IC; however , IC • *You MUST have all three elements! • IC; on the other hand , IC • *You MUST still have all elements • IC: IC • *ONLY IF the second IC| explains, illustrates, or restates the first one Danger, Will Robinson! • A ; is NEVER used with a list OR with phrases (except phrases in which you have items in a series which already contain commas) • • Ex: Nashville, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska; Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Complex • Complex= 1 IC + 1 or MORE DC Compound-Complex • Compound-Complex= 2 or more IC + 1 or more DC • Introductory adverb clauses—punctuate with a comma • Supplementary adverb clauses—no comma • Essential adjective clauses—no commas • Nonessential adjective clauses—comma BEFORE and AFTER • Noun clauses—depends on the function of the noun And a reminder or two… • Introductory phrases—always use a comma • Nonessential phrases—comma BEFORE and AFTER • Essential phrases—no commas **A note about coordination and subordination: • When revising/editing, remember to make EVERY WORD COUNT. Go back and ask yourself: • 1. Do I have two sentences (close together and related in content) which could be combined into one? • 2. Do I REALLY NEED a clause? Would a phrase be more efficient instead? • 3. Do I REALLY NEED a phrase? Would a word or two be more efficient instead? • 4. Have I used a variation of sentence structure AND sentence openers? • 5. Have I punctuated correctly?
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