In order to read efficiently and not to stumble on every word it is essential that you are able to grasp the structure of the sentences you read at once. While some sentences – simple ones – present no particular problems, others – complex ones, consisting of more than one clause and/or accompanied by various modifiers, oppositions, etc., may considerably impede comprehension.
A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. Ask yourself the following questions when checking clauses.
1. Is the clause independent?
Independent clauses are complete sentences. They contain a subject and verb. Three different types of sentences contain independent clauses.
(A) Simple sentences. Simple sentences are made up of one independent clause.
A strict behavioral approach does not consider the individual's mental processes.
(B) Compound sentences. Compound sentences are made up of two (or more) independent clauses that are joined together by a conjunction (and, but, or, etc.)
S __V________ S ___V______
Only you can introspect about your perceptions and feelings, but others can observe
your behavior, including verbal behavior about your perceptions and feelings.
(C) Complex sentences. Complex sentences are made up of one or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
S _______________dependent clause___________________ V
This position, which is incompatible with our definition of psychology, seems far too extreme
2. Is the clause dependent?
Dependent clauses have a subject and a verb, but they do not form complete sentences. They must be connected to an independent clause.
There are three kinds of dependent clauses: noun clauses, adjective clauses, and adverb clauses.
(A) Noun clauses, like nouns, can be used in any noun position.
Subject: Who does the work is not important.
Object: I didn’t see what they did.
Object of the preposition: I don’t understand the implications of what he said.
(B) Adjective clauses, like adjectives, are used to describe a noun.
He wrote the paper that caused the controversy.
(C) Adverb clauses are used in the same way as an adverb. Generally, adverb clauses can appear at either end of the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. When an adverb clause begins the sentence, it is usually set off by a comma.
When I leave, I’ll take the papers. / I’ll take the papers, when I leave.
Task 3. [Individually, then pairs]
Analyze the sentences below and underline independent clauses. Identify the type of dependent clause, if there are any. Locate and mark the subjects and the main verbs.
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