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Introduction.......................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Independent clauses.............................................................................................. 2
1.2 Dependent Clauses................................................................................................ 2


Kind of Subordinate Clause...................................................................................... 2

2.1 Noun Clause....................................................................................................... 2
2.1.1 Function of noun clause.................................................................................... 2
2.2 Adjective clause.................................................................................................. 6
2.2.1 kind of adjective clause...................................................................................... 7
2.3 Adverb Clause..................................................................................................... 9

References................................................................................................................ 15

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In English it is important to study from a small aspect of language to a bigger part of
language. For example, we should study from the basic of applied linguistic which provide us
the basic of the language. Before getting to the higher level of education in all skills of English
including reading, speaking, listening, writing, we basically need to study about all
components of English range from vocabulary, tenses, conversation, and other important
forms. More specifically, in order to write, read and speak more efficiently and more
effectively, it is good idea to get on well with words, group of word, how to construct the
words in the sentences, and clauses which the main elements in creating a good academic
structure building.
Our overall objective is to study about basic aspects of clauses and kind of clauses
which are commonly used in English.
Specifically, our studies are intended to:
Identify clauses
To find out kinds of clause in concluding dependent clause and independent clause.
Specify noun clause, adjective clause, and adverb clause
To clarify the subordinator with different kind of clauses
After finishing this course, the students will be able to:
Understand about main clause and subordinating clause
Clarify in noun clause, adjective clause, and adverb clause
Use subordinators in different clause and sentence construction.
Conceptual framework


Dependent Clause
Noun Clause

Adjective clause


Adverb Clause
- place
-manner - distance
-reason - result

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Definition: a clause is a group of words containing a subject, verb, and complement. Clauses
which is an element of sentence are divided into 2 types: (1) independent Clause (main
clause or principle clause) and (2) dependent clause (subordinate or sub clause).
1.1 Independent clauses
An independent clause is a complete sentence. It contains the main subject and verb of
a sentence. It can stand alone as a sentence by itself.
An independent clause = subject + verb + Complement
a. They play football.
b. I eat more food today.
Normally, I found independent clause in simple and compound sentences.
1.2 Dependent Clauses
A dependent clause is not a complete sentence. It must connect to an independent
A dependent clause = Subordinator + subject + verb +complement
Here are some examples of dependent clauses.
a. when he saw the police.
b. which I love very much.
c. that I always met at night.
However, if we put another sentence with each of them, then they do make sense.
a. Thief ran away when he saw the police.
b. This is a book which I love very much.
c. Jeny is a pretty girl who I always met at night.
II. Kind of Subordinate Clause
Sub clauses are divided into three categories, namely:
Noun Clause
Adjective Clause
Adverb Clause
2.1 Noun Clause
Noun Clause is a group of word which contains a subject and predicate of its own and
function as a noun in the sentence called noun clause.
2.1.1 Function of noun clause
- Subject of the verb
What I like in Phnom Penh is its beauty.
- Object of transitive verb
I know that she is a good teacher.
- Object of preposition
I am really satisfied with what I achieved in my life.
- In apposition to a noun or pronoun
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We believe the principle that all men are born free.

The complement of a verb of incomplete predicate
My belief is that hard work brings successes to you.
Love is what we think of it.

2.1.2 Kind of noun clause

Grammatically, there are 4 main types of noun clauses.
a. That-clause are made from statements and are introduced by the subordinators
that. The word that is often omitted if the meaning is clear without it. A thatclause is composed of
That + Subject + verb + complement
That the language provides many benefits to human.
That many people concern about this sexuality.
In order to make sense, a that- clause must connect to an introductory clause.
Introductory clause
I think
The professor explained

that the studies of the brain are fascinating.
that the brain is the master control of body.

The following verbs are used in introductory clauses followed by

grouped according to whether or not they may take an indirect object.
Introductory Clause Verbs
Group I: No direct Group II: Indirect Group III: indirect
Object optional
object required
point out

that-clauses. They are

Group IV: indirect

object optional

o The verb in Group I do not take an indirect object.

We know that women have higher verbal IQs than men.
o The verb in Group II may or may not take a indirect object. However, if a indirect
object is used, to must precede it.
The defense attorney proved (to the jury) that his client was not guilty.
o The verb in Group III must be followed by an indirect object.
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The doctor assured the worried parents that their child would not recover.
o The verb in Group IV may or may not be followed by an indirect object.
He promised them that they could see their child immediately after the operation.
Note: in academic writing, especially in scientific writing, introductory clause verbs are often
written in passive voice with the neutral subject it.
Subjunctive Noun Clauses: after certain verbs and adjective in an introductory clause, the
verb in a that-clause in the simple or base form, called the subjunctive. These verbs and
adjective indicate urgency, advisability, necessity, and desirability, the verbs and adjective
requiring the subjunctive form in that-clause include:
b. Wh-Word Clause
A wh-word clause is a dependent noun clause in which the subordinator is a
wh-word such as who, what, when, why, how much, how long, which, etc. a
wh-word clause I composed
Wh-question + subject + verb + complement or Wh-question+ verb + complement
Who started the band?
Which vocalists have sung with the group?
How many students are there in class?

Wh-Word Clause
who started the band.
which vocalists have sung with the group.
how many students there are in class.

To change a wh-question into a wh-word clause:

- Change the word order to SV statement word order if necessary.
- Delete do, does , or did
Here are examples of complex sentences containing wh-question clause.
Introductory clause
Wh-word Clause
Subordinator -subject
Verb (complement)
I want to know
start the band.
Can you tell me
how many student
there are in class.
I dont remember
how often
you study each week.
c. If/whether-clause is dependent noun clauses that are formed from yes/no
question and are introduced by the subordinator whether or if. An if/whetherclause is composed of
Whether(if) + subject + Verb + complement
whether the president will win reelection.
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if the airplane landed safety.

The following example show how yes/no questions can become if/whether-clauses.
Yes/No Question
If/ Whether-clause
Does Dr. Chen do well with his job?
if Dr. Chen does well with his job.
Is exercise an effective treatment of stress?
whether the exercise is an treatment of
Has it been used as an effective way during whether it has been used as an effective
the storm?
way during the storm or not?
To change a yea/no question into an if/whether-clause:
- Change the word order to SV statement word order if necessary
- Delete do, does, or did
- Add the subordinator if or whether. Whether is more formal than if .
Here are examples of complex sentences containing if/whether-clause.
Introductory clause
could you tell me
is a good teacher ?
I wonder
whether or not
have good quality.
Comprehensive Exercises
a. Find out the noun clauses in the following sentences and state what purpose they serve.
please look at the following example in number 1.
1. The king ordered that the traitor should be put to death.
Here the noun clause that the traitor should be put to death is that object

2. He said that he would not go.

3. That he is not interested in the offer is known to us.

4. He said that he was not feeling well.

5. I cannot rely on what he says.

6. I dont know where he has gone.

7. He asked whether the servant had polished his shoes.

8. The news that he is alive has been confirmed.

9. The belief that the soul is immortal is almost universal.

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10. It is certain that we will have to admit defeat.

2.2 Adjective clause

Adjective clause is a dependent clause that modifies a noun or pronoun. It describes,
modifies, or gives further information about a noun. (An adjective clause is also called a
relative clause.)
That is the book which I want. (Which I want is an adjective clause. It is doing the
work of an adjective. It modifies the noun book).
I know the girl whom you love. (Whom you love is an adjective clause. It functions as
an adjective. It modifies the noun girl.)
NOTE: an adjective clause uses pronouns to connect the dependent clause to the independent
clause. The adjective clause pronouns are who, whom, which that, and whose. (Adjective
clause pronoun is also called Relative Pronoun). Generally, a relative clause begins with a
relative pronoun or relative adverb.
Relative Pronoun
who, whom, whose, that
refer to humans
Which, that, whose
Refer to nonhuman, and thing
Relative Adverb
When, where, why
Refer to a time or a place
Here are some uses of relative pronouns
Relative pronoun Example
a. here is Chanthou, who looks after
my children.
b. The boy who I helped is Kosal.


c. The girl whom I love is gentle and



d. I have thanked the woman that

helped me this morning.
e. The movie that we saw last night
wasnt very nice.


f. The marker which is on the

table is mine
g. The movie which we saw last
night wasnt good

Who is used to refer to people
and functions as a subject or an
object. In (a) who is the subject
of the verb looks, and in (b) who
is the object of the verb helped.
Whom is used to refer to people
and function as an object. In (c)
whom is object of the verb love.
That is referred to human or
thing. In (d): that acts as a
subject of verb helped and
modifies to noun woman. In (e):
that refers to the movie and acts
as an object of verb saw.
Which is referred to thing, and it
used as a subject or an object.
In(f) which refers to the marker
and function as a subject. In (g):
which refer to the movie and
functions as an object.
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h. I know the man whose bicycle Whose is used to show

was stolen.
possession. It carries the same
meaning as other possessive
pronoun used as adjective: his,
her, its, and their. Like his, her,
its, and their, whose is connected
to a noun.
A relative adverb can be used instead of a relative pronoun plus preposition. This often
makes the sentence easier to understand.
This is the shop in which I bought my bike.
This is the shop where I bought my bike.






in/on which refers to a time expression

the day when we met him


in/at which

refers to a place

the place where we met him


for which

refers to a reason

the reason why we met him

Relative Adverb


(a). the company where I work is
very modern.
(b). the company in which I work is
very modern.

Where is used in adjective clause to
modify a place (city, country, room,
house, company, ect). In (a) where
equal to in which that modifies the
(c).Ill never forget the day when I When is used to modify a noun of
met you.
time (year, day, week, month,
(d). Ill never forget the day on century, etc)
which I met you.
(e). she doesnt know the reason Why is used in adjective clause to
why she loves singing.
modify the reason why something
(f). I cant find the cause why my happens.
lip is bleeding.

2.2.1 kind of adjective clause

There are two main types of adjective clause, namely: Defining Relative (Restrictive
Relative Clause or Necessary Clause) identify noun or pronoun: these clauses tell us which
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person, thing etc the speaker means. In addition all the information in restrictive clause is used
to provide basic or necessary information in order to make a complete meaning of an
I speak to the woman who owns the hotel. (Who owns the hotel doesnt tell us the exact
The house which Piseth bought is over 100 years old. (which Piseth bought tells us
which house)
Non-defining Relative clause (Non-restrictive or Non-necessary clause) dont tell us which
person, thing, etc the speaker means: these clause give more or further information about a
person or thing already identified. All information in non-restrictive relative clause is not
necessary. If we omit it, we still know or identify person or thing.
Mr. Hun Sen, who is the Prime Minister of Cambodia, is a powerful man.
Phnom Penh, which is the capital of Cambodia, is very famous for tourism.
Non-defining clause is more common in a formal style, especially in writing. When we write
these clauses , we put commas at he beginning of clause or at the end of the clause.
Last weekend I met Sue, who told me she was going on holiday soon.
Frank Morris, who is one of my best friend, has decided to go and live in jFrandce.
Note: In a non-defining relative clause we always use who for people and which for thing: we
cannot use that replaced to which and who
In a non-defining relatives clause we can not leave out who or which in objective relative
My uncle john, who live in Manchester, is coming to visit me next week.
Comprehensive Exercises for Adjective Clause
a. Combine the following sentences by using relative pronouns!
1. I saw the man. He closed the door.

2. The girl is happy. She won the race.

3. The student is from China. He sits next to me.

4. The students are from China. They sit in the front of row.

5. We are studying sentences. They contain adjective clause.

6. I am using a sentence. It contains an adjective clause.

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7. Algebra problems contain letters. They stand for unknown numbers.

8. The taxi driver was friendly. He took me to the airport.

b. Fill in the blank using Relative Pronoun!

1. Do you know Amrozi,. is standing by the red car?

2. The professor is the man the students all admire.

3. I phoned the woman I had taken to the fair.

4. Blacky, the dog, . Is sleeping by the fence, is fierce.

5. Give me the form . I required to fill out.

6. Whats the name of the girl spoke Dutch with you?

7. The principal, bag had been stolen, was very angry.

8. The woman, children are naughty, often loses her temper.

2.3 Adverb Clause

Adverb clause is an dependent clause which is used to modify the verb in the
independent clause and tell when(time), where(place), why (reason), for what purpose , how ,
how long or how faro. It is also used to show contrast: concession (unexpected result( and
direct opposite. An adverbial clause is composed of
Subordinator + Subject + Verb + Complement
Because the scientists are interested in the planet...
...so that humans can learn more a out the universe.

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Since the adverbial clause is a dependent clause it cannot stand alone. It must be connected
with an independent clause to form a complex sentence. An adverbial clause can come either
before or after an independent clause. If it comes before an independent clause, comma is
placed after it.
Because scientists are interested in the planets, they send spacecraft to orbit them.
When I was young, I liked to play football.
I.1.1. kind of Adverb Clause
There are 10 kind of adverbial clause
The following chart lists the different kinds along with the subordinators that introduce the
kind of adverb clause
a point in time/ short duration
at any time
at same time/long duration
as soon as
immediately/ instantly after
following the time that
from this time, moment
earlier that the time when
up to the time of
a definite place
as+ adverb +as
as +adjective+ as
as if
in the manner that/ like
as though
so +adj + that
so +adv +that
with the result that
such an +noun phrase +that
so much/many.little/few +
noun phrase +that
for the reason that
so that
in order that
for the purpose of
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contrast(direct opposition)

even though

unexpected result
direct opposite

a. Adverb clause of time

Adverb clause of time tells when the action described by the independent clause verb
take place. the action or situation in a time clause can occur at the same time or at a different
time, as part of a sequence of event. Basically, a time clause is introduced by the subordinators
when, while, as soon as, after, as before, and until.
Every one should know what to do when an earthquake strike.
While I was reading a book, my phone rang.
After I finished my assignment, I met Mr. John.
I try to study hard until I graduate from the university.
b. adverb clause of place
An adverbial clause of place tell where the action describe by the main verb take place,
a place clause is introduced by the subordinator where (a definite place), wherever,
everywhere, and anywhere.
Most of people prefer to shop where they can be sure of quality.
Consumers usually have interest in doing business wherever credit cards are accepted.
Everywhere I shop, I use my credit cards.
c. adverb clause of frequency, manner, distance
Adverb clause of manner, distant and frequency are introduced by as + adverb +as, as
as if/ as though.
Adverb clause of manner answer the question how
Adverb clause of distance answer the question How far
Adverb clause of frequency answer the question how often
The demonstrator left as the police had ordered. (Manner)
The student completed the experiment as quickly as they could (manner)
Pat jog on the beach as far as she can.(distance)
Kathleen spoke as if (as though) she were an authority on the subject.(manner)
d. adverb clause of purpose
An adverb clause of purpose states the purpose of the action in the independent clause.
The purpose clause is introduced by the subordinator so that or in order that. The modals
may/might, can/could, will/would, or have to usually occur in a purpose clause. In order that
is formal.
Farmers use chemical pesticides so that they can grow bigger harvests.
Farmers also spray their fields in order that consumers might enjoy the fruit and
Note: when the subject of the two clause are the same, purpose is often expressed by an
infinitive phrase (to grow bigger harvests, or by an infinitive phrase with in order to ( in order
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to grow bigger harvests). instead of by an adverb clause. the structure is possible in the first
example about but not in the second.
e. adverb clause of reason or cause
Adverb clause of reason or cause points out the cause or reason of the action of the
verb in the main clause. Generally, it is introduced by subordinators since, as, and because.
a. He can not come because he is ill.
b. I hate him as he is my enemy since many Europeans live, work, ad shop in the same
locale; they are quite accustomed to riding bicycles, trains, and streetcars to get
c. as they work very quickly, they are promoted with prize.
f. adverb clause of result
Adverb clause of result expresses the result of what is staed in the independent clause. a
result clause is introduced by
so +adj + that,
so +adv +that,
such an+noun phrass +that
so much/m , any.little/few.
a. new textbooks are so expensive that may students buy used one.
b. the cost of education is rising so rapidly that students are looking for way to cut
c. Library is such a big place that I couldnt find the book I needed.
d. there is always so much noise in the dormitory that I cant study there.
e. there were so many students waiting in line to register for clases that I decided to
come back later.
g. adverb clause of condition
Adverb clause of condition is a clause which mentions the condition imposed on the
action of the verb in the main clause, it calls adverb clause of condition. The sentences
containing are also known as conditional sentences. Basically, it is introduced by
subordinators if, even if, unless, provided, in case, whether or not.
if I have a lot of money, I will buy a new car.
in case you passed the exam, you would be able to study at university.
I am ready to help them provided he asks for his help.
h. adverb clause of comparison
It present the comparison of an action in main clause with that of the verb in the
subordinate clause, is known as adverb clause of comparison. Subordinators commonly used
in the formation of adverb clause are: asas, than.
I can work much more than you can.
He is as foolish as he is careless.
Mohan is more intelligent than Sopha.
i. adverb clause of concession or supposition
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Adverb clause of concession is used to express ideas or actions that are not expected.
the information in the independent clause indicates a concession or an unexpected result of
something described in the dependent clause. Adverb clause of concession are introduced by
subordinators although, even though, and though
Although i studied all night, i failed the test.
Even though they worked very well, i can not gain enough money.
Notice the difference in meaning between because and even though
Because the we weather was cold, I did not go swimming.(expected result)
Even though the weather was cold, I went swimming. (unexpected result)

g. adverb clause of contrast (direct opposition)

in this type of use the cluase, the information in the first clause is the diredt opposite
of the information in the second clasue of the sentence . use the subordinators while or
whereas to introduce either cluase. place a comma between the wto clause.
San Fracisco is very cool during the summer, whereas San Juan is extremely hot.
While Sopheak is brilliant, Jonh is uneducated.
Comprehensive Exercises for Adverb clause
a. Choose the best answer!
1. Betty looks .. something is wrong.
A- only if
B- even if
C- as if
D- so that.
2. The people danced .. the music played.
A- like
B- as
C- unless
D- in case.
3. David goes swimming . his illness.
A even if
B- in spite of C- though
D- whereas.
4. I looked, I found fingerprints.
A- until
B- whereas C- because
D- wherever.
5. This region is called land of apple it yields a lot of apples.
A- because
B- although
C- until
D- only if
6. ploughing the field, the farmer uncovered a dinosaur bone.
A- as though B- while
C- until
D- since.
7. Lucy cant attend the meeting .. she finds a baby-sitter.
A- unless
B- even if
C- only if
D- if.
8. . the fire started blazing, the skewers were tilted toward the flames.
A- so that
B- as if
C- such as
D- as soon as.
9... Pandas mostly eat bamboo, they are also carnivorous.
A- not only B- until
C- although D- as soon as.
10. Seat belts were introduced traffic fatalities would be reduced.
A- as if
B- then
C- so that
D- only if.
11. his parents disapprove, he said he wont go to university.
A- even though
B- until
C- as if
D- despite.
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12. . running, grizzly bears are capable of attaining a speed of 35 miles an hour.
A- so that
B- when
C- so D- though.
b. Fill in the blank with so or such
1. The sun shone .. brightly that Ann had to put on her sunglasses.
2. Dean was .. a powerful swimmer that he always won the races.
3. There were . few pupils registered that the class was canceled.
4. We had . wonderful memories of that place that wed return.
5. The benefit was .. great a success that they wanted to repeat it.
6. We had good a time at the party that we hated to leave.
7. It was . a nice day that we decided to go to the beach.
8. Jane looked .. sick that the nurse told her to go home.
9. Ray called at .. an early hour that we werent awake yet.
10. Those were difficult tasks that it took us much time to finish.
11. The book looked .. interesting that we decided to read it.
12. Jim worked . carefully that he almost made no mistake.
13. We stayed in the sun for .. a long time that we became sunburned.
14. There were .. many people on the bus that we decided to walk.
15. The program was interesting that nobody wanted to miss it.

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Book Sources
Bhatia.H.S,(1995). Comprehensive High School English Grammar and Composition. Book
Palace, New Delhi, India.
J D Murthy (2003). Contemporary English Grammar for Scholars and Students. Book Palace,
New Delhi, India.
Oshima. A & Hogue,A. (1999).Writing Academic English.-3rd ed.Addison Wessley Longman,
10 Bank Stree, White Plains, New York
Beaumont. D & Granger.C,(1989.1992). The Heinemann English Grammar: An Intermediate
Reference and Practice Book. A Provision of Heinemann Publishers (Oxford) Ltd,
Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (1999). Writing Academic English Longman
Internet Sources

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