Jul 182012

What’s the difference between a clause and a sentence?

ANSWER: You should recognise the difference between a phrase, a clause and a sentence.

A phrase is any small sequence of words within a sentence or a clause.

A clause is a group of related words that contains both a subject and verb.

There are two types of clauses:

  1. an independent clause: one which expresses a complete thought.
    It can function as a complete sentence;
  2. a dependent (also known as a subordinate) clause: one which expresses part of a thought. It requires a main clause to function within a sentence.

You might like to think of an independent clause as an adult, and a dependent clause as a child requiring an adult.

A sentence is either an independent clause, or a number of clauses joined together to convey a complete, and often more complex, thought.

Examples: a phrase: “two or three people”
an independent clause: “People like going to the movies.” (it’s also a simple sentence)
a dependent clause: “who like going to the movies”
a sentence: “People who like going to the movies are more sociable.”

There are many kinds of dependent clauses (relative clauses, noun clauses, adverbial clause etc.).

 Posted by at 10:56 am