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Noun clauses, Adjective clauses and Adverb clauses

Clause

A part of a sentence having a subject and a finite verb (  that means a verb with a particular tense form) is known as a clause.

To  understand it,  look at the following sentence ;

Many of the students promised that they had done the home work when asked by their teacher.

In the above sentence, there are mainly two parts,

  1. Many of the students promised……

                        And

  1. …..that they had done the home work when asked by their teacher.

In the first part of the above sentence,  we can see the subject ‘ Many of the students’  and the finite verb ‘ promised’ ( here the verb is in simple past tense). 

That is, as this part of the sentence has a subject and a finite verb, then this part can naturally be considered as a clause.

Now let’s look at the second part. 

Here, in this part also,  we can see the subject ‘they’ and the finite verb ‘had done’.

So this part of the sentence can also be considered as a clause.

Again, when we look at the first part or the clause in the sentence separately,

that is, ‘Many of the students promised’ we get a complete idea or meaning.

But when looking at the second part or the clause,

…..that they had done the home work when asked by their teacher. 

we don’t get a complete idea  but  an incomplete meaning.

So we can understand that, in a sentence , there may be clauses either giving a complete or an incomplete  meaning. 

The clause that gives a complete meaning is called  Main clause   and

The clause that gives an incomplete meaning is called  Sub ordinate clause.

So  we can call the first part of the above sentence ‘ Many of the students promised…’ as a Main clause.

And

The second part of the sentence,

‘….that they had done the home work when asked by their teacher’ as a Sub ordinate clause.

It should also be noted that sometimes a phrase may be there  in a sentence,

as the phrase ‘when asked by their teacher’ is seen in the subordinate clause of the above sentence.

 

Phrase.

A phrase is also a part of a sentence  or a group of words having only a somewhat meaning but does not have a subject, a finite verb and a complete meaning.

Here  the phrase in the sentence ‘when asked by their teacher’ does not have a subject, a finite verb

and a complete meaning.  

Here the past participle form ‘asked’ should not be misjudged as a finite verb ,  because it does not have a  particular tense form.

Anyway let’s come again into the topic clauses.                                                            

We have studied that there are two types of clauses.  Definitions for both are given below:-

 

  1. Main clause:-

A part of a sentence having a subject, a finite verb and a complete meaning is known as a Main clause.

Main clause is also called as Principal clause.

 

  1. Sub ordinate clause:

A part of a sentence having a subject, a finite verb and an incomplete meaning is known as a Sub ordinate clause.   This clause is also called as Co-ordinate clause  or  supporting clause 

Here we should understand one thing that the sub ordinate clause or co-ordinate clause or supporting clause is further renamed or categorized in three types on the basis of the role that plays in a sentence as

 

  1. Noun clause.

If a sub ordinate clause plays the role of a noun, then it is  called as a Noun clause.

We know that a noun can stand as a subject or an object in a sentence.  

If a noun does an action then the noun is termed as a subject ,  

and also if a noun becomes the answer of the question  ‘what?’ or ‘to what?’ or ‘whom?’ or ‘to whom?’

in a sentence,  then the noun is termed as the object of  the sentence.

To understand it,  let’s analyse the following sentence

                    Rakesh studies Grammar.

                    Here in the sentence, we can see two nouns.. ‘Rakesh’ and ‘Grammar’

In this sentence it is Rakesh who does the action studying.  

So the noun Rakesh stands as the subject of the sentence.  

When we ask the question ‘what?’ to the sentence we get the noun ‘Grammar’ as the answer.

                 So, a noun clause can  also stand as a subject or an object in a  sentence as a  noun can.

                 To understand it,  let’s look at the following sentences.

  1. What my father advised helps me a lot.

We can identify the part of the sentence   What my father advised   as a sub ordinate clause,

 as it  has a subject my father , a finite verb advised  and an incomplete meaning,  

and also the clause plays the role of a noun.  

So this clause can be considered as a noun clause.

Also this noun clause acts as the subject of the sentence  because  the clause does the action helping.

  1. My friend told me that I looked handsome.

Here the subordinate clause, that I looked handsome,  plays the role of a noun.  

So it is a noun clause.   

And also in this sentence it gives the answer of the question  ‘what my friend told me ?’.    

So this noun clause stands as the object of the sentence.   

Thus,  from the above facts,  we can understand that,  if a subordinate clause plays the role of a noun,

then the clause  is called as a  noun clause.  

 And also a noun clause can either be a subject or an object of a sentence.

 

   II   Adjective Clause:–  

              A subordinate clause that plays the role of an adjective is known as an Adjective clause.

         As we know,  an adjective is a word that modifies or qualifies a noun or a pronoun.  

Like that,  If a subordinate clause  modifies or qualifies a noun or a pronoun in a sentence,  

then the clause is termed as an adjective clause.

     Eg,  Yesterday, I happened to see my old friend  who is working in a multinational company.

Here, the subordinate clause  who is working in a multinational company,  is used to modify or tell about the noun friend.  

So this  clause can be further named as an adjective clause.

 

III  Adverb clause:-

          A subordinate clause that plays the role of an adverb is known as an  Adverb clause.

That is, if a word that modifies or qualifies a verb can be named as an adverb,

then the subordinate clause doing the same can be further named as an adverb clause.

         Eg,  He looked back  when I called him.

Here the subordinate clause  when I called him   the time of the verb looking back.

That is, the clause modifies or tells about the verb looking back.    

So this subordinate clause can be further called as an adverb clause.

Adverb clause is classified into 8 types, as mentioned below,

 

  1. Adverb clause of time

 

  1. Adverb clause of place

 

  1. Adverb clause of purpose

 

  1. Adverb clause of result or consequence

 

  1. Adverb clause of condition

 

  1. Adverb clause of cause or reason

 

  1. Adverb clause of comparison

 

  1. Adverb clause of supposition or concession.

 

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