Sentence Diagramming: Flashcard 16

A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate (the verb, its objects, and the modifiers of the verb and of its objects). An independent, or main, clause is a clause that can stand alone as a complete sentence. Every sentence must have at least one main clause. A dependent, or subordinate, clause cannot stand alone as a complete sentence but is dependent upon another clause. There are three types of dependent clauses: adverb clauses, adjective clauses, and noun clauses. In this lesson, you will be introduced to adverb clauses. Sentences that have at least one dependent clause are called complex sentences.

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Some adverb clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions (because, since, although, if, etc.). Here are several sentences that contain subordinating conjunctions: "Stacy stayed home on Derby day because it was raining"; "Since none of us has a basketball, we canít play basketball"; "Although she had just bought a new dress, she decided to wear an old one"; "I would have left earlier if I hadnít had to clean my room." For since to be a subordinating conjunction, it must be causal (i.e., it must mean "because"). If is a subordinating conjunction only when it is conditional.

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Other adverb clauses are introduced by relative adverbs (when, where, after, before, while, since, as, etc.). Relative adverbs are adverbs because they modify the kinds of words that adverbs modify. They are called relative adverbs because, in part, they are equivalent to prepositions with relative-pronoun objects. This will become clear as you examine the following sentence and read the explanation: "We can do our homework when we return." The relative adverb when can be expressed as "at the time at which." This expression comprises two prepositional phrases: at the time and at which, the former modifying the verb do and the latter modifying the verb return. Which in at which is a relative pronoun. 

Here is another example: "Dorothy wanted to go where her friends were going." The relative adverb where is the equivalent of "to the place to which." One more example: "When we retire, we can go hiking whenever the weather is accommodating." Both when and whenever are relative adverbs. The latter is the equivalent of "at any time at which.íí When and where can also be interrogative adverbs and, as such, introduce direct and indirect questions, the latter (and sometimes the former as well) being noun clauses, the topic of Flashcard 18. Other relative adverbs are while, after, and since (if it is temporal, not causal; i.e., if it means "since the time at which"). The use of the relative adverbs as and than in comparisons is explained on Flashcard 22.

As you make your way through these flashcards, you may wish to refer to a section of my website that deals with terminology, www.german-latin-english.com/diagrammingterms.htm

On the right is a diagram of the sentence "Since it was raining hard, the children got wet when they ran from the bus to the school." The sentence contains two adverb clauses. The first adverb clause is introduced by the subordinating conjunction since. The second adverb clause is introduced by the relative adverb when (equivalent to "at the time at which"). In diagramming, subordinating conjunctions are placed on broken diagonal lines that run from the main verb to the verb of the subordinate clause. The solid parts of the line connecting the when-clause to the main clause represent the phrases "at the time" and "at which." The broken part of the line indicates the conjunctive nature of the relative adverb. Flashcard 17: adjective clauses.

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