Good grammar costs nothing, but bad grammar can cost you more than money - Anonymous

English lessons are incomplete without the knowledge of clauses. From intermediate to advanced courses, all of them include clauses as an integral part of the syllabus. A lesson in clauses is very important to be able to practice your knowledge of vocabulary properly.

So, what are clauses? When you find English grammar classes, you will find the answer to this. But for now, you can work with this definition of a clause - a group of words used in a sentence that contains a subject and predicate. In this sense, a clause can function as a noun, or an adverb, or even an adjective. It is different from a phrase, which typically does not contain either a subject or verb. Clauses are important because they give meaning to a sentence. Spoken English teachers would emphasize a lot on the use of correct grammar and clauses in sentence construction.

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How to Use Clauses in English Grammar

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A video tutorial can be extremely helpful in understanding clauses or guided English classes from a private English tutor can also help. But first understand the difference between a clause and a phrase.

Example to Distinguish Between Clauses & Phrases

Consider the sentence - That dog barks do loudly.

Here, the phrase is "barks so loudly". While the clause is an independent sentence itself. Clauses can also be part of complex sentences. You learn all this in an advanced level of English lessons.

Functions of Clauses

A clause can perform three distinct functions:

  • As a noun to communicate an idea or thought.
  • As an adverb to describe a verb.
  • As an adjective to describe a noun.

Types of Clauses: Independent Clause

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Clauses are very important in business English. When you learn English classes, you understand the importance of listening in order to absorb a lesson. When you listen, you develop the skill to comprehend better which can be used to enhance writing and speaking skills too. At a beginner to intermediate level, listening to your private English tutor or even podcasts can help you understand the basics of English grammar, starting with parts of speech and clauses.

What is An Independent Clause?

A clause that can be written or used as a sentence itself is called an independent clause. In this sense, an independent clause can be used to express a complete thought. This is different from a subordinate or dependent clause, which, as the name suggests, can only be used as part of a sentence. An independent clause has to have a subject and a verb, which is the principal rule of clauses.

Examples of Independent Clauses

The following sentences contain an independent clause, highlighted in bold. Observe how in all the examples, the independent clause can also be used as a separate sentence altogether:

  • The man reached out to his friend, who was in need of emotional support.
  • The dog, who had missed his owner, rushed to the door to greet him.
  • The girls flocked to Central Park, which was hosting the summer carnival.
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Types of Clauses: Dependent Clause

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When you talk, your aim is to communicate what you feel to the other person. This can only be done if you know how to use correct grammar and place the right words in the right places. This is where English lessons come in handy because they teach you the basic pillars of the language. No matter what your level of proficiency, learning a new language requires practice, brushing up your vocabulary from time to time and investing in a grammar lesson every now and then.

Why Are Dependent Clauses Important?

Like any other clause, a dependent clause also must have a subject and a verb. But unlike independent clauses, a dependent clause can't be used as a separate sentence and must be used within a complex sentence to be able to express a complete thought. A dependent clause is also called a subordinate clause because of its nature of dependence.

Examples of Dependent Clause

In the following example, the second part of the sentences are the dependent clauses:

  • We could not complete the hike, since it started raining heavily.
  • The roads were covered in snow, making the car skid off road.
  • The flight got delayed, which made it impossible to reach the destination on time.

Types of Dependent Clause

Adjective Clause

A clause that describes a verb is an adjective clause. For example, in the sentence "The insurance policy that you sold me last week, turned out to be a scam!", "that you sold me last week" is the clause that describes the noun - insurance policy. Hence, it is an adjective clause.

Noun Clause

A dependent clause that is the subject of a sentence is a noun clause. For example, in the sentence, "Whatever deal you are about to make, is not good for business.", the subject is "whatever deal you are about to make" and it is the noun clause too.

Adverbial Clause

A subordinate clause that may modify a verb is called an adverbial clause. For example, in the sentence, "He kept on batting until he couldn't stand anymore.", the adverb "until he couldn't stand anymore" modifies the verb batting.

Find English Grammar Classes to Master Complex Words

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Grammar is the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking - Stephen King

You would be surprised to know that even native English speakers opt for a lesson or two in English grammar and vocabulary. This is simply because the language is to vast to be able to master at any level. Continued practice is one way of dealing with this challenge. For non-native English speakers, the problems is of course, bigger. And if you are a student, then you must learn English classes very seriously. Even for business purposes and professionals, intermediate English lessons are very useful. You can find good spoken English teachers to help you improve presentation skills at work.

A Few of the Most Complex Words in the English Vocabulary

There are actually hundreds of such words in the English language that people find difficult to master. This list is just the tip of the iceberg:

  • Abjure - to solemnly renounce something
  • Bereft - deprived of something
  • Beguile - to deceptively charm someone
  • Demagogue - a political agitator
  • Ebullient - full of energy
  • Egregious - outstandingly bad
  • Fatuous - silly and pointless
  • Grandiloquent - pompous
  • Neophyte - stubborn to change an opinion
  • Zephyr - a gentle breeze

Check out the most difficult words in the English dictionary here.

Most Confusing English Grammar Clauses For Kids to Master

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Clauses and English grammar, in general, can be overwhelming for kids and beginners. It is every important for the private English tutor or the spoken English teachers to handhold the students on this journey of discovering the nuances of the language.

Grammar Rules That are Confusing

Some grammar rules are just hard to master. Ever. You could be at an advanced level of expertise with your language skills but still not feel at ease with grammar rules. Below are the 10 most confusing English grammar rules:

  1. Choosing the right tense.
  2. Placing the apostrophe correctly.
  3. Not using homophones interchangeably.
  4. Confusing I-me-myself.
  5. Using the right preposition.
  6. Choosing between singular and plural.
  7. Accurately placing could - should - would in a sentence.
  8. Not using affect and effect interchangeably.
  9. Ordering the words correctly in a sentence.
  10. Not using continual - continued - continuous interchangeably.

If you can remember to use these rules correctly, then you would be able to master the English language. Until that happens, you can sign up for online English lessons on Superprof!

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Pragnajyoti

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