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Sandra Boyd

Sentences and Clauses


 A sentence is a group of words that has a subject and
predicate and expresses a complete thought.
 A simple sentence has one complete subject and one
complete predicate.
Complete Subject Complete Predicate
Some people travel.
Neither cars nor jets are completely safe.
Trains and buses carry passengers.
Freight trains transport products.
Sentences and Clauses
 A compound sentence is a sentence that contains two
or more connected simple sentences. Each simple
sentence in a compound sentence is called a main
clause.
 A main clause has a subject and a predicate and can
stand alone as a sentence.
Millions of people live in cities, but many others
reside in the suburbs.
Commuters take trains, buses, and cars; some
even fly.
The connectors are shown in red.
Clauses
 A main clause has a subject and a predicate and can
stand alone as a sentence.
 Sometimes sentences have more than one clause, with
only one of the clauses being a main clause. The other
clause is called a subordinate clause.
A subordinate clause is a group of words that
has a subject and a predicate but does not
express a complete thought and cannot stand
alone as a sentence. A subordinate clause is
always combined with a main clause in a
sentence.
Complex Sentences
A complex sentence is a sentence that has one
main clause and one or more subordinate
clauses.
In each complex sentence below, the main clause is in
light type, and the subordinate clause is in dark type.
When the sun set, the caravans stopped for the night.
The dromedary has one hump, which stores fat.
Most people know that camels are stubborn.
We didn’t know what they had done.
Adjective Clauses
 Sometimes a subordinate clause acts as an
adjective. An adjective clause adds
information about a noun or pronoun in the
main clause.

Ed’s bicycle, which he bought on sale, is a ten speed.

He paid a price that was incredibly low.


Adverb Clauses
 Sometimes a subordinate clause acts as an
adverb. An adverb clause adds information
about the verb in the main clause.

Before Julia bought a bicycle, she compared models.

She likes ten-speeds because they are versatile.


Noun Clauses
 Othersubordinate clauses act as nouns.
Notice how the noun in dark type below can
be replaced by a noun clause.

Bicyclists should wear a helmet.

Should whoever rides a bike wear a helmet?.


Noun Clauses
 You can use a noun clause in the same ways
that you can use a noun—as a subject, a
direct object, an object of a preposition, or a
predicate noun.
Subject: Whoever uses a bike rides for fun or exercise.
Direct Object: Suzi says that she wants a ten-speed bike.
Object of Preposition: She looks at whatever is on sale.
Predicate Noun: The flea market is where she can find a
good deal.