You are on page 1of 25

the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words. (Dictionary.


the study of the rules that govern the ways in which words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. (

the rules about how words are arranged and connected to make phrases and sentences (Macmillan Dictionary)



A clause is a part of a sentence. There are two main types:

o independent (main clauses), o dependent (subordinate clauses).

An independent clause is a complete sentence; it contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought in both context and meaning.
o For example: The door opened.

Independent clauses can be joined by a coordinating conjunction to form complex or compound sentences.

FANBOYS i) For ii) And iii) Nor iv) But v) Or vi) Yet vii) So For example: Take two independent clauses and join them together with the conjunction and: " The door opened." + "The man walked in." = The door opened and the man walked in.

A dependent (subordinate) clause is part of a sentence; it contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. They can make sense on their own, but, they are dependent on the rest of the sentence for context and meaning. They are usually joined to an independent clause to form a complex sentence.

Noun clause

what, where, why, how, where, when, who whom, which, whose, whether, that, if who, whom, which, whose, that, where, when time place

Adjective clause

when, before, after, until, since, as soon as

where, wherever because, as, since so that, in order that so ... that, such ... that if, unless although, even though Yale Graduate School Writing Center

Adverb clause

cause purpose result condition concession

An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb by telling how, when, where, or under what condition. Adverb clauses begin with subordinate conjunctions and answer such questions as where, why, when, how, to what extent, in what manner, and under what conditions.

o Because the house had been empty for so

long, the lawn and garden were choked with weeds. o The lawn and garden were choked with weeds because the house had been empty for so long.

[The adverbial clause is underlined and because is the subordinating conjunction.]

An adjective clause is a subordinate clause used as an adjective to modify a noun or a pronoun. Adjective clauses begin with relative pronouns: who, whose, that, whom, which OR relative adverbs: when, why, where.

o The flowers (that) I bought for my mother are

beautiful. o The friends (whom) I visited are my cousins.

Noun clauses often begin with the words that, which, who, whom, or whose. Noun clauses can also use variants of those words such as whichever, whoever, or whomever. Noun clauses may also begin with the words when, where, whether, why, how, if what, or whatever.

o No one knew where we were headed. o She asked whether we should go. o Do you know when you are leaving?


Any small group of words within a sentence or a clause. A phrase functions as a unit and includes a head (or headword), which determines the type or nature of the phrase.

Noun phrase Adverbial phrase Adjective phrase

Verb phrase

Prepositional phrase

Adjective Phrase "It is always the best policy to speak the truth--unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar." Adverbial Phrase "Movements born in hatred very quickly take on the characteristics of the thing they oppose." Noun Phrase "Buy a big bright green pleasure machine!"

Prepositional Phrase "I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I'd rather dance with the cows until you come home."
Verb Phrase "When this is all over, your father may be going away for a little while." m

describe what part of speech goes first, second, third. for example, the most common sentence pattern in English is SubjectVerb-Object, often shortened to S-V-O, as in "She saw the movie. (

SV (subject + verb) SVO (subject + verb + object) SVOO (subject + verb + object + object) SVOA (subject + verb + object + adverbial) SVOC (subject + verb + object + compliment) SVA (subject + verb + adverbial) SVC (subject + verb + compliment)

SV she sleeps (S) + (Vi) SVO she makes a cake (S) + (Vt) + (dO) SVOO she makes her brother a cake (S) + (Vt) + (iO) + (dO) SVOA she watches television with her family (S) + (Vt) + (dO) + (Adv)

= = = = Basic sentence Using an adverb phrase Plural noun and verb used Prepositional phrase functioning as adverb

The teacher is here The teacher is over there. Teachers are everywhere The teachers are in the lobby.

Note: Only linking verbs can be used with this sentence pattern.

Subject + Verb + Object + Compliment (SVOC)

Subject + Verb + Compliment (SVC)
The SVOC pattern is not common. The relationship between the two nouns which come after the verb is like the relationship between two nouns which come before and after the verb e.g :

They elected Clinton President = Clinton is president s Vt dO c / s Vi c

Sometimes the last items is an adjective instead of a noun e.g :

The ride made me dizzy = I became dizzy s Vt do c / s v c iting/forms/Types%20of%20Clauses.pdf NOTE FROM PAST YEAR IPBA BOOK