BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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Sentences - Clauses

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.