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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Subordinate Clause

Are you ready to learn about the subordinate clause? Great!

(They are also called dependent clauses.)

Let's start by talking about the definition of a clause.

Clauses are groups of words with a subject and a verb.

Remember that subjects tell us whom or what the sentence is about, and verbs show an action or a state of being.

Here are some examples of clauses:

I sharpened my pencil.

My cat ran around the corner.

Whenever I sharpen my pencil

Until my cat ran around the corner

You probably noticed that while each of those clauses had a subject and a verb, not all of them could stand alone.

Those last two examples didn't really make sense all by themselves. That is because they are dependent or subordinate.

Subordinate means that they can't stand alone. They are not complete sentences - they are sentence fragments.

So, if you put the definitions together, you'll see that a subordinate clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb that cannot stand alone.


Dependent Clauses vs. Independent Clauses

Both of these are clauses, so both of these are groups of words with a subject and a verb.

So, how are they different?

Dependent clauses cannot stand alone, and independent clauses can stand alone. That is the only difference.

Here are some independent clauses:

I love my cat.

Computers are awesome!

Here are some dependent clauses:

If I love my cat

Until computers are awesome


Subordinating Conjunctions
& Relative Pronouns

Did you notice in the examples above that all I did was add one word at the beginning of the independent clause, and I made it a dependent clause?

If you didn't, check it out now.

Those words that I added (until, if, whenever...) are called subordinating conjunctions and (who, that, which...) relative pronouns.

Basically, their job is to join a dependent clause to an independent clause.

Since dependent clauses can't stand alone, they need independent clauses.

These two clauses are joined together with a subordinating conjunction.

Whenever I eat spinach, I feel like I can conquer the world.

Whenever = subordinating conjunction

Whenever I eat spinach = subordinate clause

I feel like I can conquer the world. = independent clause

These two clauses are joined together with a relative pronoun.

The book that is on the shelf is my favorite Victor Hugo novel.

that = relative pronoun

that is on the shelf = subordinate clause

The book is my favorite Victor Hugo novel. = independent clause


Types of Dependent Clauses

Dependent clauses act in certain ways. They can act in three different ways to be precise.

1. Adjective (Relative) Clause

2. Adverb Clause

3. Noun Clause

As you might guess, an adjective clause is a dependent clause that acts as an adjective. These are introduced by relative pronouns.

The book, which I had not read, fell on my head.

That was an adjective clause. You can tell that it is an adjective because it is modifying the noun book.

An adverb clause is a dependent clause that acts as an adverb. These are introduced by subordinating conjunctions.

I read because I love stories.

That adverb clause is modifying the verb read.

A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun.

My mother knows that I love the library.

That noun clause is acting as the direct object in the sentence. It is the direct object of the verb knows. It is acting as a noun.

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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