What is a Clause?
A. clause is a part of the sentence that contains a verb. A typical clause consists of a subject and a predicate.
Every complete sentence contains two parts: a subject and a predicate. The subject is what (or about whom) the sentence is about, while the predicate tells something about the subject.
For example, take the sentence, “I bought a new mobile phone”. In the above sentence, “I” is the subject and “bought a new mobile phone” is the predicate.
Some other examples:
1. You (subject)/ don’t have to wait for me (predicate).
2. We (subject)/ will no longer be friends (predicate).
3. They (subject)/ were fighting on the road (predicate).
4. He (subject)/ was wearing a blue shirt (predicate).
5. The sun (subject)/ shines everyday (predicate).
6. My younger brother (subject)/ serves in the ONGC (predicate).
7. The man and his wife (subject)/ were working in Infosys (predicate).
8. My brother and my sister (subject)/ are trained western dancers (predicate).
9. The little plant (subject)/ was covered with thorns instead of leaves (predicate).
10. A rich person (subject)/ was passing by the narrow road (predicate)
A Conditional sentence has two parts or clauses. A condition will be given in the dependent clause and a result is given in the independentclause. The condition clause usually contains an “if statement”. There are several different forms of conditional sentences that allow to express various meanings using different tenses. Types of conditional sentences:
1. Zero Conditional: A zero conditional uses the present tense in the both dependent and independent clauses. Zero conditionals are used to talk about something that is generally true. The present tense signifies that these actions are typically possible to happen.
Syntax: If + simple present, simple present
1. If it rains, I take an umbrella with me to work.
2. If I wake up early, I always read in bed.
3. If you slaughter a chicken, it dies.
4. If you see the moon, it’s night.
5. If you start sneezing, then it’s either you’re allergic to something or have a cold.
2. First Conditional: The first conditional uses the ‘present tense’ in the “if (dependent) clause” and the “future tense” in the ‘result (independent) clause’. This form is used to talk about something that is a probable future result of a condition.
Syntax: If + simple present, will + base verb
1. If I see you later, I will say hello.
2. If I don’t see you later, I won’t be able to say hello.
3. If she wins today, she’ll be heading straight to quarterfinals.
4. If it rains today, then I won’t leave the house.
5. We’ll go shopping tomorrow if the client makes her payments on time.
3. Second Conditional:
The second conditional uses the ‘past tense’ in the “if (dependent) clause” and a modal and base verb in the result (independent) clause. This form is used to talk about a hypothetical situation that cannot happen or is unlikely to happen.
Syntax: If + simple past, modal + base verb
1. If I had a million dollars, I would buy a large vacation home.
2. If I were you, I wouldn’t wait to study for the test.
3. If I won the lottery, I’d buy my family a Tesla.
4. What are some of the cities you would be travelling to if money was not a problem?
5. If you had managed to quit smoking, you’d be in good health right now.
4. Third Conditional:
The third conditional uses the ‘past perfect tense’ in the “if (dependent) clause” and a modal and ‘present perfect tense’ in the “result (independent) clause”. This form is used to talk about a hypothetical situation in the past that did not happen – typically with an outcome that did not happen and is perhaps the opposite of what did happen.
Syntax: If + past perfect, modal + present perfect
1. If it had rained last week, the plants would not have died.
2. If I had finished college, I would have become a doctor.
3. If I had remembered to use sleeping pills last time, I wouldn’t be awake on that day.
4. If she had asked him out last night, she wouldn’t be still single.
5. If people spoke their mind, then the world would be a much better place than it already is.
5. Mixed Conditional: Mixed conditionals combine the second and third conditionals to present both an unreal condition either in the past or the present and an unreal result either in the past or the present. The first form presents an unreal condition in the past that changes an unreal outcome in the present (the past changes the present).
Syntax: If + past perfect, modal + base
1. If I had finished college, I would be a doctor now.
2. If it had rained last week, the plants would be alive now. The second form presents an unreal condition in the present that changes an unreal outcome in the past (the present changes the past).
Syntax: If + simple past, would/ could + present perfect
1. If I spoke louder, you would have heard me before.
2. If you were nicer, you could have had more friends when you were younger.
Note: Conditionals can be categorised as real and unreal. You can think of this as meaning possible or impossible. Zero and first conditionals are possible as they deal with things that are generally true or that could be true in the future. Second, third and mixed conditionals are impossible because they are either hypothetical or concerned with events in the past that we cannot change. Real Conditionals: Zero and First Unreal Conditionals: Second, Third and Mixed.
Directions (Qs. 1 - 10): Fill in the blanks with appropriate words by using the clues given in the brackets.
1. If I study, I ........ (to pass) the exams.
Ans: If I study, I will pass the exams.
2. If you ........ (to check) the car, it ........ (not/ to break) down in the middle of the desert.
Ans: If you had checked the car, it would not have broken down in the middle of the desert.
3. If the weather had been nice, they ........ (to play) football.
Ans: If the weather had been nice, they would have played football.
4. If Naveen found money, he ........ (not/ to keep) it.
Ans: If Naveen found money, he would not keep it.
5. The boys ........ (to win) the match if they ........ (to train) regularly.
Ans: The boys would have won the match if they had trained regularly.
6. If it ........ (to rain), the children ........ (not/ to go) for a walk.
Ans: If it rains, the children will not go for a walk.
7. If you dive into this river, you ........ (to hurt) yourself.
Ans: If you dive into this river, you will hurt yourself.
8. If they ........ (to listen) carefully, they might hear the woodpecker.
Ans: If they listened carefully, they might hear the woodpecker.
9. If we meet at 9:30, we ........ (to have) plenty of time.
Ans: If we meet at 9:30, we will have plenty of time.
10. If Trisha had a mobile phone, she ........ (to phone) all her friends.
Ans: If Trisha had a mobile phone, she would phone all her friends.
Types of clauses
1. Main clause: A main clause is a clause that contains a subject and a verb. Main clauses can form the sentences on their own. Main clauses are also known as independent clauses, because they can be used independently.
1. I play cricket.
2. He likes chocolate.
3. They are watching television.
4. We left the office yesterday.
5. You are looking pretty!
2. Coordinate Clause: A coordinate clause is used when two main clauses are used together in a sentence. They're connected by a coordinating conjunction. For example, take the sentence, “I like chocolate and I like sweets”. In the above sentence, both 'I like chocolate' and 'I like sweets' are the main clauses in the sentence. They have been joined together by the coordinating conjunction, 'and', to make a coordinate clause.
Some other examples:
1. She was going to the store for she had run out of bread.
2. I am going to the park and I'm going to the cinema later.
3. I don't like carrots nor do I like cauliflower.
4. He wanted to go to the beach but it started raining.
5. This dish is attractive but it tastes very bad.
3. Subordinate Clause: A subordinate clause is a clause that cannot form a complete sentence, even though it contains a subject and a verb. It cannot derive a complete meaning to a sentence like a main clause can. Subordinate clauses are also known as dependent clauses, because theycannot be used independently. They have to be linked to the main clause, using a subordinating conjunction.
For example, take the sentence, “Sitting happily, the chicken laid eggs”. In the above sentence, 'Sitting happily' is a subordinate clause because it is not a complete thought. It needs the main clause, 'the chicken laid eggs', to make the sentence meaningful.
Some other examples:
1. If you win the award, I will buy you a new video game.
2. Since the sun will shine today, we will go to the beach.
3. When she was sick, her teacher gave the exam.
4. Because father said so, I apologised to my friend.