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SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

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English syntax
English syntax

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Вилина Минчева on Apr 22, 2013
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09/20/2013

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SUBORDINATE CLAUSES: NOMINAL AND ATTRIBUTIVE CLAUSES
The Nominal clauses are those which occupy syntactic positions in the sentence typicallytaken by nouns. They are the following: Subject(ive) Clauses, Predicative Clauses, Objec(ive)Clauses.SUBJECT CLAUSESThese clauses perform within the complex sentence the function of Subject.Compare:That we need more books is obvious.The need for more books is obvious.Subject clauses are connected with the main clause in the following ways:1. By means of conjunctions: that, if, whether.Eg. That she is still alive is a consolation.Whether it rains doesn’t concern me.It doesn’t concern me if it rains. (initial position is not possible, only extraposition is possible)2. By means of conjunctive pronouns: who, which, what, whatever.Eg. Who steals my purse, steals trash.What was done cannot be undone.Whatever I can do for you will be nothing but paying a debt.3. By means of conjunctive adverbs: where, how, why.Eg. How you get there doesn’t concrn me.It is a grand thing when you see all that water falling down. (extraposition of subjectclause)4. Asyndetically.Eg. It is a pity her brother should be such a stranger to her.Extraposition of subject clauses:It is improbable that he will refuse.It was evident that he did not understand.It was surprising how little the district had changed.It would be most unfortunate if the Court came to another decision.The clausal subject is placed at the end of the sentence, and the empty subject position isfilled by the pronoun “it”. The pronoun is called in this case the “anticipatory subject it”, or the “introductory subject it”. The sentence thus contains two subjects the anticipatorysubject, and the postponed subject.
 
PREDICATIVE CLAUSESPredicative clauses perform within the complex sentence the function of a predicative. If wedrop them the sentence will be unfinished because the predicative will be missing.Eg. The assumption is that things will improve.The assumption is…Connection with the main clause is achieved in the following ways:1. By means of conjunctions: that, if, as if, whether.Eg. Our attitude sinply is that facts are facts.I felt as if death had lain a hand on me.The thing to be settled on now is whether anything can be done to save him.2. Conjunctive pronouns: who, which, what.Eg. Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself. 3. Conjunctive adverbs: where, when, how, why.Eg. The question was how was the matter to be kept quiet.That was why you were not one bit frightened.4. Asyndetically.Eg. Another thing was they had nurse Andrews staying on with them that week.The fact is, I hardly know how to begin.The reason was, nobody had expected him so early.The predicative clause together with the link verb form a compound nominal predicate.Sometimes we can have a complex sentence with both a subject and a predicative clause. Theonly element outside these clauses is the link verb. There is nothing that might be termed a“main clause”.Eg. What we want to know is what they are going to do.The sentenece is well balanced and only the positional criterion helps us to determine which isthe subject clause (the first one) and which is the predicative clause (the final one).OBJECT CLAUSES Object clauses perform the function of an object to the predicate verb of the main clause.Eg. I knew that he was wrong.An object clause may also refer to a non-finite verb and to an adjective.Eg. I called on him in the evening to discuss what I had heard.
 
They sent the boy to enquire whether the postman was there.I ventured on asking why he was in such a hurry.I am almost certain that he saw me.Object clauses are connected with the main clause in the following ways:1. By conjunctions: that, if, whether, lest.Eg. Jane wondered if they were really suited for one another.Time will show whether I am right or wrong.2. By conjunctive pronouns: who, which, what, whatever, whoever, whichever.Eg. I’ll do just what I say.3. Conjunctive adverbs: when, where, how, why.Eg. I should like to see where you live.I did not see how this was possible.He wondered why he should look back.He enquired when the concert would begin.4. Asyndetically.Eg. He said there was nothing much the matter with me.I’m afraid I trouble you too much.I see you are an early riser.An object clause may be preceded by a preposition. Such clauses are called PrepositionalObject Clauses.Eg. I am readt to listen to whatever you may wish to say.I found it hard to keep my mind on what he was saying. An object clause can be introduced by an “introductory object
it 
”.Eg. I insist upon
it 
that you tell me exactly what you mean.You may rely on
it 
that I shall give you a full account.Depend upon
it 
that there is some mistake.INDIRECT OBJECT CLAUSEThese are object clauses after verbs which take indirect objects.Eg. She gave whoever came into the room a cup of coffee.OBJECT COMPLEMENT CLAUSESThese clauses qualify the direct object of the main clause. They are introduced by “what” or “as”.

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