Clause and Types of Clause explained

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 27th February, 2020 @ 16:29: PM

Topics in English

Phrase: Types of Phrase Clause and Types of Clause explained Essay: How to write the major types of essay Nouns, Adjectives and Examples of Nouns formed from Adjectives Homonyms - Meaning and Examples of Homonyms Idioms and Examples of Idioms Synonyms: Meaning and Examples of Synonyms Figures of Speech: Meaning, Examples and Types of Figure of Speech Relative pronouns and Compound Relative Pronouns explained with Examples Transitive and Intransitive Verbs explained with Examples Phrase explained with examples Essay: Formal, Semi-Formal and Informal Essays explained

Academic Questions in English

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Peter and Paul are always fighting _____.

  • A. themselves
  • B. each other
  • C. one another
  • D. the other

The young lady _____ tears when she heard about the disaster.

  • A. broke out into
  • B. broke out
  • C. broke into
  • D. broke off
  • E. broke down with
  • F. broke out with

The man is consistently assertive while his son is rather _____.

From the options below, which word correctly fills the gap and is also opposite to the underlined word.

  • A. reserved
  • B. respectful
  • C. cautious
  • D. open minded
  • E. cowardly
  • F. brave

The plural form of advice is _____.

  • A. advices
  • B. advise
  • C. advice
  • D. advicies
  • E. advicer
  • F. advicers

Idioms are best defined as _____.

  • A. Sentences that are logically reversed
  • B. Words that relate to a specific sentence
  • C. A clause containing two or more phrases
  • D. Phrases whose meaning does not contain the individual words it contain
  • E. Illogical words with logical meanings
  • Rational words with partial meaning as used in the sentence

Her followers on social media considered her to be reprobate unlike her twin sister whom many see as being _____.

From the options below, which word correctly fills the gap and is also opposite to the underlined word.

  • A. godly
  • B. morally upright
  • C. prudent
  • D. conservative
  • E. cautious
  • F. diligent

Words with same spelling, same sound and different meanings are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homonyms
  • B. Homographs
  • C. Homophones
  • D. Synonyms
  • E. Antonyms
  • F. Homophobes

A man who writes a book is called an author. A woman who writes a book is called an _____.

  • A. author
  • B. authoress
  • C. authorite
  • D. authority
  • E. authress
  • F. auther

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What is a Clause?

A clause is a grammatical term referring to a group of words containing a subject and a verb. The words comprising a clause may (or may not) make up a complete grammatical sentence.

Note: The subject is an entity that forms the first part of a sentence. It always performs an action. The verb is the action performed by the subject.

The instances below shows the subject and verb in a sentence:

  1. I ate rice and beans. ('I' is the subject and 'ate', the verb.
  2. She danced. ('She' is the subject and 'danced', the verb.
  3. We all laughed. ('We' is the subject and 'laughed', the verb.
    Please read on Transitive and Intransitive Verbs explained with examples here.

A clause may include the verb predicate. Think of a predicate as the second part of a sentence that tells us something about the subject; (the subject is the first part of a sentence). The predicate always begin with a verb.

Below are some examples that shows the predicate (underlined) and the verb predicate (written in color green):

Types of Clause

Depending on the type of clause, a clause may or may not create a complete meaning. In order words, a clause can be independent or dependent.

Once again, it is important to state that a clause must contain a subject and a verb, regardless whether it's independent or dependent.

1. Independent Clause

As the name implies, an independent clause will always stand alone and must contain at least, a subject and a verb (or a verb predicate). They are also referred to as the main clause.

The components of an independent clause are shown below:

Independent Clause = Subject + Verb

Independent Clause = Subject + Verb Predicate

An important point to note is the fact that grammatically correct sentences must consist of at least, one main (or independent) clause.

Below are examples of an independent clause in a sentence:

Notice that the above examples contains a subject and a verb. They are all grammatically correct and do not necessarily require an additional clause to make a complete sentence; (although the second example began with an additional clause -> 'at the party').

2. Dependent Clause

They contain a subject and verb. However, they don't stand alone and cannot make complete sense.

As the name implies, a dependent clause will always depend on the main clause. In fact, a dependent clause must be joined to an independent clause for a sentence to become grammatically correct.

Note: A dependent clause is also referred to as a subordinate clause.

Importantly, subordinate clauses may be introduced by relative pronouns like 'who, whom, that, which, what, whose, whomever, whatever and whichever'. Similarly, they may also be introduced through subordinating conjunctions like 'until, although, because, if, with, after, since, unless, even, through and when'.
Please read more on Relative Pronouns and Compound Relative Pronouns here.

Below are examples of dependent clauses:

  • Before I go to work
  • Whenever I ask the question

From the above examples, the dependent clauses do not make a complete sentence. They will therefore require an independent clause to make a complete thought.

In the examples below, the dependent clause had been added to an independent clause (underlined):

  • Before I go to work, I say a prayer.
  • Whenever I ask the question, Alfred replies.

Other examples of dependent clauses include:

Notice that the above dependent clauses are all introduced by relative pronouns and subordinate conjunctions.

Note: Dependent clauses does not make a complete sentence; rather they function in sentences as adjectives, nouns, and adverbs, thus giving rise to other types of clauses. These are:


3. Noun or Nominal Clause

A nominal clause contains a subject and a verb while also acting as a noun in a sentence. On it's own, it cannot make a complete sentence. For example:

  • I know what he is attempting to do.

Notice that the noun or nominal clause 'what he is attempting to do' is a noun because it refers to a person.

A nominal clause will always be traced to a person, animal, place or thing.

Please read on Nouns formed from Adjectives here.

Other examples of nominal clauses are underlined in the sentences below:

4. Adverbial Clause

Adverbial clause acts as an adverb in a sentence. Although they contain a subject and a verb, they cannot stand alone as a complete thought. An instance is shown below:

  • They left for Abuja after the seminar was over.

Notice that the adverbial clause 'after the seminar was over' gives more detail to the verb 'left'.

It is the function of an adverbial clause to give more information about a verb.

You can read on the Types of Essay explained here.

Below are other examples of adverbial clauses:

  • The lazy student cheated until he was caught.
  • The young man was heard even without a microphone.
  • The centre back scored through a powerful header.

5. Adjectival or Relative Clause

Adjectival clause acts as an adjective in a sentence. It contains a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. Below is an example:

  • The young man, who gave you sweets yesterday, is my brother.

Notice that the Adjectival clause 'who gave you sweets yesterday' gives more detail about the young man.

It is the function of an adjectival (or relative clause) to give describe a noun. This means that it gives more information about a noun.

You can read on Figures of Speech here.

Other examples of adjectival clause include:

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Coffins aren't perfectly rectangular in shape. They are wide at both shoulders. They  are also tapered at the head and foot. 

Caskets are rectangular in shape and are usually constructed with better quality timber.

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In French Language, to leave a party without notifying anyone is called “partir à l’anglaise”,

Partir à l’anglaise actually  means "to leave like the English"


Homonyms are words with the same spellings, same sounds but different meanings.

Below are some sentences containing homonyms with their respective meanings

  • Keen

We have a keen match against Ronaldo’s team and Messi seems to be keen.

Keen: An involvement of people competing very hard for something.
Keen: Very interested in something.


  • Tear

Regardless the tear you shed, Mr. Frank will still tear your examination scripts.

Tear: The drop of liquid that comes out from a person's eye when they cry.
Tear: To damage something by pulling or cutting it apart.


  • Jot

There isn't any jot of truth in what he said, so I didn't jot  anything down.

Jot: A very small amount of somethin

Jot: To write something quickly

Please read more on Homonyms here

Certain words in English language appear to be similar but are quite different in meaning.

The table below shows some examples











You can check out the difference in meanings of the words above.

Note: Synonyms are different words with similar meanings. Please read on synonyms here.

Some words always exist in the plural form. Examples of such words are:

  • Scissors
  • Shears
  • Alms
  • News
  • Trousers

Possessive adjective tells you the owner of a thing. For instance;

This is his car.

His” in the above statement is describing him as the owner of the car; and this makes “his” a possessive adjective.

That is your bag.

Your” is a possessive adjective in the above statement.

Note: An adjective is a word that describes a noun.

Possessive pronouns show possession. A possessive pronoun will always correspond to with each of the personal pronouns. For Instance

I own the book. (“I” is a personal pronoun)

The book is mine. (“Mine” is the possessive pronoun)

She owns a car. (“She” is a personal pronoun)

The car is hers. (“Hers” is the possessive pronoun)