Writing Topic: Sentence Building

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English has two basic ways of combining words into groups: phrases and clauses

Phrases are centred around nouns (in the van, by early morning).

Clauses are centred around verbs (she runs the marathon; when he saw the ruins).

Types of ClausesCombining Clauses

Types of Clauses

All sentences are constructed from two types of clauses.

  1. The main, principal, or independent clause. It contains a subject (noun), a predicate (verb), and expresses a complete thought:

She decided to walk to the park.

(subject)          (verb)              (= complete thought)

  1. The subordinate or dependent It also contains a subject and a verb but does not express a complete thought. Subordinate clauses often begin with words like since, while, although, despite, etc.:

Because it was a sunny day

(subject)           (verb)              (= incomplete thought)

Combining Clauses

Combining a Subordinate and a Main Clause
Combining Two Main Clauses
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