Learn/Teach: Clauses in English Language

Learn/Teach: Clauses in English Language

To write well in English Language and literature, students and other language and literature learners have to master how to put sentences together. Students have to exercise their writing skills in their exercise books, diaries and other note taking tools. By mastering various grammatical sentence structures, the students and other learners will keep themselves on the right track of professionalism as far as language and literature are concerned. In this article, we will discuss the clauses in English Language.

For other articles about English sentences, visit the following:
Clause is a group of words that contain both a subject and a predicate. Or is a group of words with a subject and a verb.
There are two main kinds of clauses in English Language. They are:
1.      Independent Clause/Main Clause
This is the kind of clause that can stand alone as a sentence without depending on other clauses. It is also called the main clause because it is the essential part of a sentence.
Examples of Independent clauses:
The President will arrive tomorrow.
We played the match well.
You will be a father.

These sentences are independent because they can stand alone or convey the complete thought or sense on their own without being dependent on other clauses.
2.      Dependent Clause/Subordinate Clause
This is the kind of clause that cannot stand alone as a sentence and it needs other clauses to make it convey or bring a complete sense and thought.
Examples of dependent clauses:
If the contract is signed.
Although it was raining.
When you marry.
If you win.
Unless you pass exams.
Provided that you are a student.
Because you are late.
While you are a student.

These incomplete sentences above can only be complete after adding independent clauses as in the sentences below:

If the contract is signed, the President will arrive tomorrow.
Although it was raining, we played the match well.
When you marry, you will be a parent.
If you pass exams, you will receive rewards.
Unless you pass an interview, you will not get a job.
Provided that you are a student, you will be required to obey the school rules.
Because you are late, you will not be allowed to enter the class.
While you are a student, you cannot be allowed to marry.

Just like an independent clause, dependent clause can be placed at the beginning of a sentence or at the end.
Dependent clause at the beginning of a sentence: Although it was raining, we played the match.
Dependent clause at the end of a sentence: We played the match although it was raining.

Note: When the dependent clause is placed at the beginning of a sentence, it is separated by a comma. When it is placed at the end, there is no need for comma. See above example.
A Sentence fragment is a group of words that does not express a complete thought.
Examples of sentence fragments:
Late last night.
That woman.
Agreed to the plan.

These sentence fragments need other types of sentence structures to make them being the sense to us.
For example, the sentence fragments above can be made complete as follows:
Late last night I visited my uncle.
That woman is very beautiful.
Agreed to the plan, the board will come to the conclusion.

Ask the student to read the following passage and ask them:
To identify any independent clauses
To identify any dependent clauses

Despite the fact that discipline is always a cornerstone to the students' success at school, colleges, or universities, commitment to the students' goals is important as well. Whether you agree or not, your good discipline is your only way to reach your goals. Despite being intelligent, a student who lacks discipline will make no impact when it comes to studies. I like to advise students that there is a certain point in the life of a person when someone should sacrifice for the better future. One of those points in life is education. The young people like you should sacrifice for your better future through studying hard. Don't ask yourself foolish questions like; will mere ownership of the phone get me expelled from school? How can fighting with my enemies at school get me suspended? Notwithstanding the strength you have, you are always obliged to obey the school rules and regulations. And in order to accomplish your studies, your good discipline is vital. Ask yourself questions: Is it really necessary to have the phone? Is it necessary to fight? Or do I really have the time to waste breaking school rules and regulations? Although you may make various mistakes at school, you will still have the chance to learn from your mistakes and swear not to repeat the same mistakes for one more time. As a student, you have to spend your time studying or refreshing your minds in various acceptable activities like sports and games. Teachers and students should cooperatively work together. So, students should make sure they follow teacher’s guidance properly. Though teachers teach you, you and your parents, should work cooperatively. You can consult them any time before deciding on the things that can retard your progress at school. Being a student does not free you from committing human mistakes, but it is possible to refrain from doing bad things at school for the sake of your future. Although teachers are your guides at school, you still need your own commitment to school rules and laws. Stop misbehaving! Stay calm and committed. Your success is at your own hands. You may choose to succeed or fail by your own decisions.
Ask students to form two groups. First group should identify and discusses any five independent clauses and the second group identifies and discusses any five dependent clauses from the passage. The answers of each group should be presented before the class and the class should ask questions from the presenting group in case they need more clarification on the presented answers.
Note: A teacher can use any text that can be appropriate and use it to test students on identifying the particular sentence structures. The teacher should scan the text first to see if it contains the right or target grammatical practice for students. It may be a passage from the newspapers, and online content, or any excerpt of the book.
The writing process starts when you start thinking about writing. You think about the subject, about the words, about the kind of writing (description, composition, letter, e-mail, report, essay), about the best way to put the words together.

For more on how to study & teach English Language topics, visit the following class links:

For 'O' Level's CSE Examination Sections, visit the following section links:


Microsoft Encarta Dictionaries 2009 © 1993 – 2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts

Previous Post Next Post