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These clauses are classified into
 Adverbial clauses
 Relative or Adjectival Clauses
 Noun clauses


Adverbial Clauses are typical modifiers to the
They function as adverbial adjuncts of different
They are introduced by SUBORDINATING
CONJUNCTIONS which have no internal
They just introduce the clause.
In generative terms they are called

1. Relative or Adjectival Clauses are typical

modifiers to the noun.
They function as postmodifiers to the noun.
They are introduced by
 Relative pronouns


Noun Clauses can be introduced by
COMPLEMENTIZERS that, and if and the
INTERROGATIVE ADVERB whether. These do not
have any function within the clause. They just
introduce it.
Noun Clauses can also be introduced by wh-words.
In this case they can be classified into:
 Interrogative Clauses if we can
relate them to a question.
 Nominal Relative clauses if we
can para phrase them into a
Noun Phrase containing a
Relative Clause.

Non-defining Relative Clauses with a whole sentence
as antecedent
At least Robert is considerate, which his friends don’t
seem to be..
No one showed up on time, which Alex didn’t like very
She admires Mr. Smith, which surprises me


Relative determiners

Examples of Adverbial Clauses

Relative adverbs

Joanne studied Greek until she fell asleep.
After the match was over, the teams exchanged shirts.
Because Mabel has lost her license, Fred is driving her to
work .
You can succeed if you try very hard.
As soon as she told the truth, the problem was solved.
He walked as if he was drunk

4. These relatives do have a function within the

The man that the Republicans nominated in 1980 now
lives in California.
Nobody found the place where the aliens were supposed
to have landed.
The summer when I met him was unbearably rainy.
Yesterday I saw an animal which resembled mu aunt
Last night, John was introduced to a man who had once
courted his aunt.
The boy whose parents are abroad has just arrived.

Finite subordinate clauses are dependent constructions
that contain a conjugated verb. They cannot stand on
their own. They form part of a Main or independent


their antecedent without any
intervening sign of punctuation.
Nondefining Relative Clauses, which
provide additional, non-essential
information. They sound as
comments. They are always separated
from the antecedent by means of a
comma at the beginning and end of
the clause.They might be omitted.
Sometimes they have a complete
sentence as antecedent, in which case
they function as coordinate elements.
They can be paraphrased with and
this / and that. They don’t allow
omission of the relative and they are
never introduced by THAT.

They appear in Noun Phases.
There are two types of Relative Clauses:
 Defining Relative clauses, which
provide essential information
regarding the noun or antecedent they
modify. They allow omission of the
relative. They are always attached to

Examples of Relative or Adjectival Clauses
Defining Relative Clauses

Non-defining Relative Clauses
The books, which were written by foreign authors, were
Ronald Reagan, who began his career as a radio
announcer, came to hold the nation’s highest office.

Examples of Noun Clauses introduced by
Joseph will tell you whether Martha is leaving.
We want to know if Karen sued John.
Tom explained that he hadn’t seen Tom before.
Examples of Interrogative Clauses. (always related to
a question)
Laura told me how fond of your aunt the children were
Harold asked where the waiters had put the chairs.
We all wondered what books she would buy
He knows which candidate will win the election
Examples of Nominal Relative Clauses (Not related to
a question)
What you need is in the cupboard.
Whoever wrote this book is a genius.
This is where she lives.