Clauses – Definition, Types, Usage and Examples

The English language features simple sentences that comprise a subject and a predicate, essentially making sentences composed of clauses. This article aims to introduce you to the concept of clauses, their meaning, definition, types, and their application in sentences. Additionally, examples will be provided to enhance your understanding of the topic.

Clauses in English Grammar

Clauses in English – Meaning and Definition

In English grammar, “clause” refers to a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. A clause can function as a complete sentence (independent clause) or as part of a larger sentence (dependent clause).

  1. A group of words that includes a subject and a verb, and forms a sentence or part of a sentence.- Oxford Learner’s Dictionary
  2. A group of words, consisting of a subject and a finite form of a verb. –  The Cambridge Dictionary
  3. A clause is a group of words containing a verb. – Collins Dictionary

परिभाषा– A clause is a group of words which forms part of a sentence and contains a subject and a predicate. (Clause शब्दों का ऐसा समूह होता है जो किसी वाक्य का अंग होता है और जिसका अपना उद्देश्य (Subject) और विधेय (Predicate) होता है।)

For Example:

  • I think that you have made a mistake.
  • We cannot start while it is raining.

उपर्युक्त दोनों वाक्यों में एक मुख्य वाक्य है और दूसरा उससे जुड़ा हुआ। दोनों में ही Subject और Predicate दिए गए हैं, अतः ऐसे ही अलग-अलग प्रकार के वाक्यांशों को clause कहते हैं। Clause के विभिन्न प्रकार विस्तार से नीचे दिए जा रहे हैं-

Types of Clauses

There are three main types of clauses:

  1. Principal Clause (Independent Clause) (मुख्य/स्वतंत्र उपवाक्य)
  2. Co-ordinate Clause (समानपदीय उपवाक्य)
  3. Subordinate Clause (Dependent Clause) (आश्रित उपवाक्य)

Independent Clause (Principal Clause)

मुख्य उपवाक्य (Principal Clause) वह उपवाक्य है जिससे पूर्ण भाव प्रकट हो। यह Clause अपना भाव प्रकट करने के लिए किसी अन्य Clause पर आश्रित नहीं होती है; जैसे-

Examples of Independent Clause (Main Clause):

  • Hari said that Akbar was a good king. (इस वाक्य में Hari said मुख्य उपवाक्य है।)
  • Do you know where Mr. Gupta lives?  (इस वाक्य में Do you know? मुख्य उपवाक्य है।)
  • She completed her assignment and submitted it on time.
  • He went for a jog in the morning, and then he had a healthy breakfast.

Co-ordinate Clause

समानपदीय उपवाक्य (Co-ordinate Clause) वह उपवाक्य होता है। जो वाक्य की अन्य किसी उपवाक्य के समान दर्जे का हो। यह Clause (उपवाक्य) Co-ordinating Conjunctions (जैसे – And, But, Still, Or या Nor आदि) से आरम्भ होती है, जैसे-

Examples of Co-ordinate Clause:

  • Rama passed but his brother failed. (इस वाक्य में दो Clauses हैं- “Rama passed.” और “But his brother failed.”)
  • God made the country and man made the town. (इस वाक्य में दो Clauses हैं- “God made the country.” और “And man made the town.”)
  • She must weep or she must die. (इस वाक्य में दो Clauses हैं- “She must weep.” और “Or she must die.”)

इन वाक्यों में “But his brother failed.”, “And man made the town.” और “Or she must die.” Co-ordinate clause हैं, जो Principal clause को Co-ordinate कर रहीं हैं।

नोट– उपर्युक्त उदाहरणों से स्पष्ट है कि जब वाक्य में Principal Clause की एक Co-ordinate Clause (समानपदीय उपवाक्य) भी होती है, तब वह वाक्य संयुक्त वाक्य (Compound Sentence) होता है।

Dependent Clause (Subordinate Clause)

आश्रित उपवाक्य (Dependent Clause) वह उपवाक्य होता है जो अपना अर्थ स्पष्ट करने के लिए किसी अन्य उपवाक्य (Clause) पर निर्भर होता है।

जैसे:- “Although she sings beautifully” (dependent clause) + “she is shy” (independent clause) = “Although she sings beautifully, she is shy.” (complete sentence).

Examples of Dependent Clauses (Subordinate Clauses):

  • Although it was raining, they decided to go for a picnic.
  • Because she studied hard, she aced the exam.
  • I will call you when I reach home.

पहले वाक्य में दूसरी Clause (That you are a good boy = कि तुम एक अच्छे लड़के हो) अपने अर्थ को स्पष्ट करने के लिए पहली Clause (I know = मुझे ज्ञात है।) पर निर्भर है। अतः “That you are a good boy” Subordinate Clause हुई।

नोट– उपर्युक्त उदाहरणों से स्पष्ट है कि जब वाक्य में Principal Clause की एक Subordinate Clause होती है, तब वह वाक्य संयुक्त वाक्य (Complex Sentence) होता है।

Types of Dependent Clauses

  1. Noun Clause (संज्ञा उपवाक्य)
  2. Adjective Clause (विशेषण उपवाक्य)
  3. Adverb Clause (क्रिया-विशेषण उपवाक्य)

Noun Clauses

संज्ञा उपवाक्य (Noun Clause) वाक्य में संज्ञा (Noun) का कार्य करती है; जैसे

  • He said that Hari helped Hamid. (इस वाक्य में “That Hari helped Hamid” Noun Clause है क्योंकि यह ‘said’ क्रिया का Object (कर्म) है।)
  • Life is what we make it. (इस वाक्य में “What we make it” Noun Clause है क्योंकि यह ‘is’ क्रिया का Complement (पूरक) है।)
  • There is no meaning in what you say. (इस वाक्य में “What you say” Noun Clause है क्योंकि यह ‘in‘ Preposition का कर्म (Object) है अर्थात यह in द्वारा सम्बन्धित (governed) है।)
  • I want to know what all the fuss is about. (functions in the sentence as the direct object of the verb “know”)
  • She will listen to whatever you recommend. (functions as a direct object)
  • I hope we are going to wherever the source of the river is. (functions as the object of the preposition “to”)

Adjective Clauses

विशेषण उपवाक्य (Adjective clause) वाक्य में विशेषण का कार्य करता है; जैसे

  • We love them who love us. (इस वाक्य में “Who love us” Adjective Clause है । यह Principal Clause के Pronoun ‘them’ की विशेषता प्रकट करती है।)
  • I know the man who came here yesterday. (इस वाक्य में “Who came here yesterday” Adjective Clause है जो Principal Clause के Noun “man” की विशेषता प्रकट करती है।
  • The house, which is painted blue, belongs to my friend.
  • The girl who won the singing competition is my sister.

Adverb Clauses

क्रिया-विशेषण उपवाक्य (Adverb Clause) वह उपवाक्य होता है जो वाक्य में क्रिया-विशेषण (Adverb) का कार्य करता है। (These clauses modify or describe a verb, adjective, or adverb within a sentence.) जैसे-

  • When he came, father was reading a paper. (Time)
  • He may sit wherever he likes. (Place)
  • If it rains, I shall not go out. (Condition)
  • She is so tired that she cannot work. (Effect)
  • I will go for a walk if the weather is nice.
  • He left early so that he could catch the train.
  • If you work hard, you will be able to score good grades.
  • In case you like it, let us know.

In summary, Independent clauses can stand alone as complete sentences, while dependent clauses rely on independent clauses for their meaning. Noun clauses act as nouns, Adjective clauses qualify nouns, and Adverb clauses modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Clauses in English Grammar

What is a clause?
A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. It can function as a complete sentence (independent clause) or as part of a larger sentence (dependent clause).

What is the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause?
An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence, expressing a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot stand alone and relies on an independent clause to form a complete sentence.

What are the different types of dependent clauses?
Dependent clauses can be categorized based on their function. Common types include noun clauses (acting as nouns), adjective clauses (modifying nouns), and adverb clauses (modifying verbs, adjectives, or adverbs).

What are some common subordinating conjunctions used to introduce dependent clauses?
Subordinating conjunctions such as “although,” “because,” “when,” “while,” “if,” “unless,” and “since” are commonly used to introduce dependent clauses.

How do you identify an adjective clause?
An adjective clause, also known as a relative clause, is introduced by a relative pronoun (such as “who,” “whom,” “whose,” “which,” or “that”). It provides additional information about a noun or pronoun in the sentence.

Can a dependent clause be at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence?
Yes, a dependent clause can appear at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence. Its placement depends on the intended meaning and the structure of the sentence.

How can clauses be combined to form complex sentences?
Clauses can be combined using coordinating conjunctions (such as “and,” “but,” “or”) or subordinating conjunctions to create complex sentences. By combining clauses, you can express relationships and add depth to your writing.

Can a sentence have more than one clause?
Yes, sentences can contain multiple clauses. These can be independent clauses joined together or a combination of independent and dependent clauses.

How can I improve my understanding and use of clauses in writing?
Reading and analyzing different sentence structures, practicing sentence combining exercises, and studying examples of clauses in context can help improve your understanding and use of clauses in writing.

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