Grammar: Introduction Clauses

Grammar in EAP

Clauses, Simple Sentences & Clause Complexes

Elements of the clause

A clause – or a simple sentence – consists of two elements.

Subject Predicate
The participants were chosen.
Jones investigated the issue secretly in the early 1950s.

All finite clauses require a subject and a predicate. The predicate consists of several other elements, some are essential and some are optional. The description of the structure of the clause uses four main elements: subject (S), predicator (P), complement (C) and adjunct (A).

For example:

Jones investigated the issue secretly in the early 1950s.


See: Grammar: Simple Clauses

Subordination & Coordination

A simple sentence consists basically of one independent clause. For example:

“The idea of a National Government had implanted itself in the mind of the King.”

Clauses can be combined to form clause complexes. There are two main ways in which clauses can be combined.

Combining Clauses

Clauses can also combine to form complex or compound sentences.

Combining Clauses: Grammar: Clause Complexes

Realisation of Clause Elements

These elements of clause stucture are realised by various word, groups or clauses. In English there is no one-to-one correspondence between class of unit (noun, verb, nominal group, finite clause, …) and syntactic function (subject, predicator,  complement, adjunct). See: Grammar: Realisation of Clause Elements

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