Types of Clauses in English with Examples

Clauses are units of grammar that contain at least one verb and a subject.

A clause can be distinguished from a phrase, which does not contain a subject and a verb

Examples of clauses are:

  • Jamie bought a pair of jeans (One Clause Sentence)
  • I went to the beach (One Clause Sentence)
  • I was sleeping (One Clause Sentence)
  • I graduated last year. (One clause sentence)
  • When I came here, I saw him. (Two clause sentence)
  • When I came here, I saw him, and he greeted me. (Three clause sentence)

2 Types of Clauses

Clauses are either dependent or independent.

An independent clause can exist by itself as a complete sentence while a dependent clause cannot.

Main Clause or Independent Clauses

Independent clauses can stand alone as a sentence containing a subject and a verb

For Example:

  • Gabriel is playing with toys in his room.
  • He ran.
  • I was late to work.
  • Maria is cooking dinner.
  • Mom took the car to get fixed.
  • James played soccer with his friends
  • Erica brushed her long, black hair.

Dependent Clauses or Subordinate Clauses

A dependent clause cannot be a sentence by itself. It needs to be combined with an independent clause to be a full sentence.

For Example

  • I am not doing this task unless Peter helps
  • Jason is tired because he only slept for five hours last night.
  • Even though the broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese, Emily refused to eat it.
  • After she told Fernando to leave, Erica brushed her long, black hair.
  • When I was dating Daina, I had an accident.
  • I know the man who stole the watch.
  • He bought a car which was too expensive.

Types of Dependent Clauses

Dependent clauses may work like adverbs, adjectives, or nouns in complex sentences.

Let’s check all the type of dependent clauses

What is an Adverb Clause?

  • An adverb clause is a group of words that function as an adverb in a sentence.
  • An adverb is a part of speech that describes an adjective, another adverb or a verb
  • An adverb does this with just one word, but groups of words can also perform this function in sentences.

For example:

  • She walked fast
  • She walked like a turtle
  • She walked as if she was running for his life.
  • Whether you like or not, you will stay home
  • Unless you run fast, you won’t win the race
  • As soon as I saw you, I knew something was wrong
  • Give us a call when you get back home
  • You can start surfing as soon as you put on sunscreen.
  • Wait here till I come back.

What is an Adjective Clause?

An adjective clause is a dependent clause that, like an adjective, modifies a noun or pronoun. Adjective clauses begin with words such as that, when, where, who, whom, whose, which, and why.

  1. Fast food, which most people love, is not very healthy.
  2. Students who are intelligent get good grades
  3. The lady who lives across the street is my aunt
  4. The reason why I left is a secret.
  5. I do not like people who are mean to animals.
  6. I used the notebook that had a red coloured cover.

What ‘s a Noun Clause?

A noun clause is a clause that plays the role of a noun.

  • I like what I am seeing.
  • I know that Michael is coming back home
  • I’ve met the man who won the lottery.
  • Everybody knows that he is an honest man
  • Please tell me who left his shoes on the floor
  • I think that you will like it.

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English