Grammar 5


What Is a Clause?

In many ways, a clause is the same thing as a sentence. In fact, we can think of a clause as "a sentence that has been reduced to its simplest form." And, in truth, we often use the words "clause" and "sentence" interchangeably. However, they are not the exact same thing.

So . . . what's the difference?

Not much. An independent clause can be turned into a sentence simply by capitalizing the first word and putting a period at the end.

Clause Sentence
the dog chased the rabbit The dog chased the rabbit.

However, there are other kinds of clauses that can't be turned into sentences quite so easily.

To better understand a clause, let's zoom in and take a look at its parts:

The first thing we notice is that a clause consists of a subject and a predicate.

Subject Predicate

Study the following examples:

Subject Predicate
the dog chased the rabbit
the singer is talented
my friend won the race
Betty likes music
the horse drank water

Key Points

Instructions for the Quiz

Identify the underlined portion of the sentence.