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Clause: Definition, Useful Examples, and Types of Clauses


One of the important elements of English grammar is the clause. There are many grammatical terms and it can seem difficult to understand them all. In this article, we are going to take a look at the clause, what it is, the different types of clauses and how it can be used.

Clause vs Phrase

There is sometimes confusion between a phrase and a clause but once the definition is understood, it is much easier to distinguish between the two. Let’s take a look at the meaning of each one.

  • A phrase is a group of words which are unrelated.
  • A clause is a group of words which has both a subject and a verb.

Types of Clauses

There are many different types of clauses in the English language. We are now going to take a look at the different types as well as looking at some examples of how these clauses might look.

Noun Clause

This type of clause is a dependent clause which plays the part that a noun would play. These types of clauses will start with words such as who, how, what, when, whether, which, whom, why, whenever, whoever, whatever, etc. The clause must contain a noun which is one of the words listed and a verb. Let’s take a look at some examples of noun clauses.

  • How she behaved at the wedding was terrible.
  • He did not know where he was.
  • The best part of the film was when the boy flew.
  • Whoever thought of that is so clever.
  • We need to figure out how we can make our customers happy
  • Whichever movie you select is OK with me.
  • Make sure to send whoever helped you a thank you card.
  • My best trait is that I am hard working.
  • I wonder how long he will be.
  • You can give the money to whoever you want.
  • I do not know whether she can run that fast.
  • You can buy it if it is on sale.

Adjective Clause

An adjective clause is a type of clause which can modify a noun or a pronoun. This type of clause will begin with the words who, that, whose, which. We will now take a look at some examples of adjectives clauses.

  • The winning team, whose name is posted on the notice board will be given free tickets to the opera.
  • Wages which are spent well are much more valuable.
  • Yoga, which a lot of people practice, is a good form of exercise.
  • French fries, which many people like are not a healthy food.
  • My mom remembers the days when there was no TV.
  • I know someone who fought in world war two.
  • I love telling people about Paul McCartney, whose music I love.
  • Never visit a doctor whose plants are not alive.
  • This is the teacher who is very smart.
  • The Eiffel tower is a tourist site which is located in Paris.
  • This is the dog which bit my son.

Adverb Clause

An adverb clause is a form of a clause which behaves in the same way as an adverb, that is that it is used to modify a verb, adjective or other adverbs. We are now going to take a look at some examples of adverbs clauses in use. They are used to describe the condition of the action of the sentence and usually to bring more information on how, why, where, what, etc.

  • Since it is only me, I will not eat out tonight.
  • My son, although he is timid, loves to play with people.
  • I always keep a packed bag, in case I find a good deal on a flight.
  • Whether she likes it or not, she must write the essay.
  • Unless you go quickly, you will miss the train.
  • Once it saw the car approaching, the deer ran off the road.
  • Now that the people have left the party, we must begin cleaning.
  • As soon as he saw her, he knew that she was the one.
  • My father, when he is mad, starts shaking.
  • Call me up when you are home from your vacation.
  • You won’t be able to wear those pants unless you have the correct size.
  • Eat your dinner before it gets cold.

Independent Clause

An independent clause is can be used as a sentence in its own right or within a longer sentence with other clauses. This type of clause will always contain a predicate and a subject. They can link to a dependent clause or to another independent clause in order to form a more detailed or complex statement. Let’s take a look at some examples of independent clauses in use.

  • He loves opening the door when the wind is blowing.
  • Because we liked this movie, we will be sure to pay it forward.
  • He drove to the store to buy some bread.
  • The singer sang the song well.
  • Cheetahs are the fastest animals on land.
  • I run.
  • I am late to work.
  • I love to see the birds, when they fly overhead.
  • I walk in the park every day because it is pretty.
  • I will go home.
  • He likes to cycle.

Dependent Clause

dependent clause is one which relies on another clause in order to make a complete sentence. It can be linked with an independent clause to do this. Alone, a dependent clause will not be thought of as a full sentence. Let’s now take a look at some examples of dependent clauses.

  • If that is a burger, I want it.
  • She is hostile, mostly because she is not happy.
  • Let’s go to the beach, while the weather is still warm.
  • When the Queen arrives, we must take a bow.
  • Because he cannot come to the party, she isn’t going to come either.
  • Until it is nighttime, we cannot see the stars.
  • If he can work weekends, he will earn much more money.
  • This is the car which she gave me.
  • The bad acting was why the film was not successful.
  • This is the family who live in the city.

Clause Infographic


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