In this lesson, we shall continue to examine clauses. We know that a clause is a group of related words in the English language that contains a subject-verb combination, and may be a part of a sentence or indeed a complete sentence.
Knowledge of clauses helps us to write and speak properly. We also know that wherever there is a finite verb, there will be a clause.
Thus, we can identify two kinds of clauses-the main or independent clause and the subordinate or dependent clause. in subordinate or dependent clause, although we can identify a simple sentence, we notice that these clauses are introduced by linking words or expressions e.g. that,which,what,because,etc.we observe how these clauses behave.
There is a king of clause that behaves like a noun e.g. “I saw what Kumi was doing”
“What Kumi was doing” behaves like the object of the verb saw. We shall examine the following sentences that contain two types of dependent clauses.
The sentences are
“The man who jumped over my wall was a farmer.” and
“When I saw Adwoa in the evening she was wearing a beautiful boubou”
In the first sentence, this of the two clauses can be said to tell us anything about the noun “man?”Obviously,”who jumped over my wall “describes the man. We know, that words or expressions or even clauses which describe nouns are adjectives. So we call those clauses that begin with who, which, that whose, whom “adjective clauses.”
Can you make your own sentences in which subordinate clauses are introduced by these linking words? The second sentence also contains two clauses
“When I saw Adwoa in the evening she wearing a beautiful boubou.”
One of them is a main or independent clause and the other is a dependent or subordinate clause. Which is which?
Remember a subordinate clause is introduced by a linking word and depends on the main clause for the completion of its meanings.
When I saw Adwoa is a subordinate or dependent clause that tells us the time that I saw Adwoa.it behaves like an adverb.
Remember that adverbs or adverbials indicate time (in the morning), place (at home), reason (because), purpose (so that), etc.can you see what the dependent clause in the sentence tells us? It gives us the time that something happens and its position can be occupied by an adverbial of time .Another example is
“Gyamfi ran away when he saw me” “Gyamfi ran away fast
Where the word fast and clause when he saw me behave like adverb.
Is it possible to have two independent clauses in a sentence? Let us examine the following pairs of sentences
“Armah kicked the ball” “Armah scored a goal”
“Sosu shouted goal name.” “Esi did not gear him”
These pairs of sentences contain two simple sentences each. Are the ideas expressed in them related? You can see that the sentences “Armah scored a goal “is a consequent of “Armah kicked the ball “and the sentence “Esi did not hear Sosu”has a negative result form “Sosu shouted Esi’s name. “Thus we can link up each pair using linking words.
The sentence “ Armah scored a goal” can be said to provide an additional piece of information and so the appropriate linking word is and
And so we have
“Armah kicked the ball and (Armah) scored a goal.”
In the next pair of sentences
“Sosu shouted her name” “Esi did not hear him”
We see that the sentence “Esi did not hear Sosu”provides a negation of “Sosu shouted Esi’s name. “If you shout out someone’s name, you expect them to hear you. In this instance, the person did not hear you so the appropriate linking word is but. Thus we have the negative link in but. we now have,
“Sosu shouted Esi’s name but she (Esi) did not hear him (Sosu)”
Notice that in these examples, each clause makes sense on its own and so is important in its own right as it carries its full meaning. Neither depends on the other to make complete sense. This kind of sentence is important when we are providing details-one point after the other in a series. Some stories use such sentences and if used exclusively in stories, we find that it becomes repetitive and even boring. “One day Akua went to the market and bought an orange. she went home and peeled and ate it. she gave a portion to Kojo.Kojo ate it and enjoyed it “.
If this goes in for much longer we are going to lose interest. This is why, when writing. we are advises to vary our sentences. The same story can be told using different kinds of sentences and this should improve the quality of the story. For example,
“When Akua went to the market, she saw some nice looking oranges. She bought one and took it home.Kojo was out playing with his friends. She peeled and, as she was about to eat it, her brother returned so she shared it with him “.
This obviously reads better for it provides something which the first one does not. Thus, we can see that a sentence in English can have at least
- One clause as in
“Kojo was out playing with his friends”.
- Two main/independent clause as in
“She bought one and took it home.”
- One independent (main) clause and one dependent (subordinate) clause
“When Akua went to the market, she saw some nice-looking oranges.”
We may also have combinations such as “She peeled it and as she was about to eat it her brother returned, so she shared it with him”.
How many clauses do we have here? Remamber that the number of finite verbs tells us how many there are.
“She peeled it As she was about to eat it Kojo returned So she shared it with him”
There are four clauses. Which of them are main/independent or subordinate/dependent clauses?
“She peeled it (main clause) Her brother returned” (main clause)
The other two are dependent or subordinate clauses introduced by the linking words, as and so.
Thus an English sentence can be complex but note that the longer a sentence is, the more difficult it is to control and so, mistake may arise. Don’t write excessively complex sentences.
Remember that i.Every clause contains a finite verb. ii.A clause may be independent or dependent iii.A dependent or subordinate clause is a part of a sentence since it does not make complete meaning; iv.There is mo limit to how many independent clauses there can be in a sentence, but it is safe to limit them to two or three. v.All clauses can come any where-beginning, middle, or end-in a sentence. In each of the following sentences, the first clause appears in italics. Let us determine whether that clause is a main clause or a subordinate clause. (Remember that a subordinate clause cannot stand alone as a complete sentence).
When Awesi woke up from bed this morning, it was already 7 o’clock. “When Akwesi woke up from bed this morning “is….a subordinate clause.
Yoofi decided to go to school although he knew that I was already late. “Yoofi decided to go to school “is…. a main clause.
Because Gyifa did not do any work at home, she felt guilty. “Because did not do any work at home “is …. a subordinate clause.
School was already in session when Aku arrived. “school was already in session “is a …. Main clause.
When Fiifi entered the classroom, he saw the teacher writing in the board. “When Fiifi entered the classroom “is a …. Subordinate clause.
Kofi greeted Hawa but she did not respond. “Kofi greeted Hawa “…. Is a …. Main clause
Kotie asked Naa a question but she could not answer it. “Kotie asked Naa a question “is a …. Main clause.
Sisi asked Nimo to stand up and he stood until break time. “Sisi asked Nimo to stand up “is a …. Main clause.
Because Koo was embarrassed, he vowed never to be late again. “Because Koo was embarrassed “is a …. Subordinate clause.
Sakyi has learnt that he has to wake up early to avoid lateness to school. “Sakyi has learnt “is a …. Main clause.