What are clauses?
A clause is a group of words that contains a verb.
E.g when she went swimming the young boy laughed
Do clauses make sense on their own?
Main Clauses Subordinate Clauses
Main clauses (independent clauses) Subordinate clauses (dependent clauses) don’t
make sense on their own. make sense on their own. They are
dependent on the main clause to make sense.
E.g After you’ve eaten your dinner, you can play outside. Sandra bought some shoes when she went shopping.
Relative Clauses Embedded Clauses
Max, who was fantastic at football, especially If relative clauses are between the main
enjoyed PE. clause, we call them embedded clauses.
‘Who’ is a relative pronoun, so this clause E.g Big Ben, which is in London, sounded
containing extra information is called a relative for the final time. This could clause. also be called an embedded There are other relative pronouns: that, which, relative clause.
who, whom, whose, what. Luke, as soon as he heard the news, rushed to the hospital.
The example above is still an embedded clauses as it is in between a main clause, but it is not a relative clause as it does not start with a relative pronoun.