You now know the five basic clause patterns.

And that's an important step toward our ultimate goal: To have a thorough understanding of this thing called "a clause." Trust me, clauses are important. Clauses are the most important building block of the English sentence.

Do you remember how we defined a clause?

First, we learned the "dictionary definition" (the one that to me seems wholly inadequate):

  1. A clause is a pattern of words that contains a subject and a predicate.

And then we learned a better definition:

  1. A clause is any pattern of words that fits into the five basic clause patterns.

So where do we go from here?

Well, for starters, we should appreciate the fact that every sentence in the English language has at least one clause. And if it doesn't have a clause, it's not a sentence.

So I'd like you to start noticing the clauses in the sentences you read.

And that might still be a bit difficult.

Why? Because most of the sentences we've analyzed thus far have been fairly simple sentences. They haven't been "cluttered up" with a bunch of "gunk" (words and phrases that conceal the clause within). They have all been "reduced" to a fairly simple form.

In this next section, we'll start to analyze more complicated sentences, and we'll learn how to reduce them until we can recognize the clause that's hiding within.

Instruction for the Quiz

Answer the Questions