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  1. #21
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Dear soup,
    Thank you very much for all you have done.
    You cannot say only one thing I want to know.
    Frankly, please tell me.
    That you should say so surprises me.
    In this sentence, can you say which is the main clause and which is the subordinate clause?
    If you can say, I'd like to hear "Yes", if not, "NO".
    Hoping to hear Yes or No.
    Have a good time!

  2. #22
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Whitemoon, the main clauses are underlined and the subordinate clauses are in bold.

    1. I love you because you are very beautiful.
    => Notice that if we omit because we are left with two complete sentences:
    a. I love you.
    b. You are very beautiful.
    Above, each clause has a subject-verb pair; two subjects and two verbs.


    2. I saw a beautiful girl who was sitting under the tree.
    => Notice that who replaces a beautiful girl, and so by replacement we can get two complete sentences:
    a. I saw a beautiful girl.
    b. A beautiful girl was sitting under the tree.
    Above, each clause has a subject-verb pair: there are two subjects and two verbs.


    The following example sentence also houses two subject-verb pairs, but one of the subject-verb pairs is embedded in the subject of the other subject-verb pair, which means this is and cannot be a complex sentence:

    3. That you should say so surprises me.
    Subject: That you should say so
    Verb: surprises

    Subject: you
    Verb: should
    Sentence 3. is an example of a simplex sentence (SVO) that happens to house a clause as its subject. Now, if it were complex, we would be able to get two complete sentences out of it, wouldn't we? But we can't:
    a. You should say so. <a complete clause>
    b. *Surpises me. <fragment: no subject>
    Here's how it breaks down:

    Subject: (The fact)that you should say so
    Verb: surprises
    Object: me

    The subject is an elliptical noun clause, the head of which; i.e., the fact, is elided, but its relative that is overt.

    To diagram that sentence,

    IP branches into IP (that you should say that) and VP (surprises me)
    VP branches intoV (surprises) and NP (me)


    If you have an linguistic argument to show that example 3 is complex, I'd like to see it. As it stands, your subordinating clause is a subject, nothing more:

    1. I love you because you are very beautiful. <FUNCTION: conjunction>(Adverb clause)
    2. I saw a beautiful girl who was sitting under the tree. <FUNCTION: modification>(Adjective clause)
    3. That you should say so surprises me. <FUNCTION: subject>(Noun clause)
    I've already understood, and you can't say which is main clause and which is subordinate clause in the third sentence. That is to say, you dare not say "the defination of a complex sentence is worng in this case".
    Thank you very much!
    May you be happy, healthy and wealthy!
    Whitemoon
    Last edited by whitemoon; 12-Aug-2008 at 05:31. Reason: correct error

  3. #23
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Subject: What he said
    Verb: was
    Predicate adjecitive: true

    ___________________
    Note, ellipsis:

    What he said could, for example, have been, "I love you."

    Ex: The statement "I love you" (which is what he said) was true.

    Notice that what is referential, and moreover the phrase what he said part of a bigger structure. We could just as well rephrase it with,

    Ex: The statement was true.

    Subject: The statement
    Verb: was
    Predicate adjective: true

    In short, what he said functions as a subject. On a higher level, it sits inside a noun clause; i.e., the statment "I love you" which is what he said was true.

    _____(What he said was true.
    The thing that he said was true.
    If I change the sentence like that, I understand "the thing was true" is a mian clause and "that he said" is a subordinate clause(adjective clause). But we can't change the sentence. Therefore I can't analyze the sentence: which is main claluse and which is subordinate clause.)_____________________
    If you get an A on this assigment, please cite us.
    I am sorry I don't get an A on this assigment.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Whitemoon, you're most welcome for the help. In answer to your question, your example sentence That you should say so surprises me is NOT a complex sentence:
    A complex sentence has an independent clause joined by one or more dependent clauses.
    Notice that the operative phrase there is 'joined by'. Now, ask yourself, is the independent clause below joined by a subordinate clause?
    Ex: That you should say so surprises me.
    The answer is a resounding NO. Your apparent subordinate clause that you should say so is not joined to anything; it functions as a primary constituent of the sentence: it's the subject, which is followed by a verb and its object which makes a simplex sentence (SVO):
    Ex: That you should say so surprises me.
    Your example sentence, while it houses an elliptical noun clause (which can be interpreted as a subordinate clause) that clause is not dependent: the sentence as a whole does not house both an independent clause and a dependent clause. On the contrary, the subordinate clause is inside the main clause as one of its primary constituents, its subject:
    Ex: [[That you should say so] surprises me].
    Independent Clause
    Subject
    You can test to see if it's a complex clause. With complex sentences, removing the subordinate clause does not render the main clause ungrammatical, because the subordinate clause is dependent (which is why it is also called a dependent clause), but removing the subordinate clause that you should say (which, by the way, is not a dependent clause because it is a primary constituent of the sentence)does indeedrender the sentence ungrammatical:
    Ex: Surpises me.
    That alone should tell you that your example sentence is not complex; however, if you wish to call it a complex sentence, then you should go right ahead and do so, but you'd be mistaken.

    _____________________
    Note, in reference to your latest request,
    Quote Originally Posted by whitemoon
    That you should say so surprises me.

    In this sentence, can you say which is the main clause and which is the subordinate clause?

    If you can say, I'd like to hear "Yes", if not, "NO".
    How would answering Yes or No help you to understand that the subject in your example sentence is not joined to an independent clause; i.e., that your example sentence is complex? It's not.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitemoon View Post
    I've already understood, and you can't say which is main clause and which is subordinate clause in the third sentence. That is to say, you dare not say "the defination of a complex sentence is worng in this case".
    The definition is fine; it's your interpretation that's somewhat problematic. Your assumption that a complex clause is comprised of two forms, alone, doesn't take into consideration how those elements function syntactically. They function separately, not one inside the other.

    Just to be clear here, I have answered your question, more than once, starting with post #2.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitemoon View Post
    If I change the sentence like that, I understand "the thing was true" is a mian clause and "that he said" is a subordinate clause(adjective clause). But we can't change the sentence. Therefore I can't analyze the sentence: which is main claluse and which is subordinate clause.)_____________________
    The problem I see here is that you think 'subordinate' and 'dependent' mean the same thing. They don't. In your example sentence, the subject that you should say so isn't a dependent clause, and therefore cannot be part of a complex sentence:


    Simplex sentence
    Subordinate clause = subject
    (The fact) that you should say so surprises me.

    Main clause
    (The fact) that you should say so surprises me.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to you.
    Today I am very happy to see your kindest reply. I can solve my problem, especially my student's problem.
    Thak you very much indeed.
    By the way, please could you tell me what is the definition of simplex sentence and its example?
    Hope to see your answer.
    Thank you very much indeed again.
    May you be happy, healthy and wealthy!
    With kindest wish,
    Whitemoon

  8. #28
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Whitemoon, you're most welcome for the help. In answer to your question, your example sentence That you should say so surprises me is NOT a complex sentence.
    Let me ask again please.
    In each of the following Complex sentences, the Noun Clause is the Subject of a verb:
    1. That you should say so surprises me.
    2. That it would rain seemed likely.
    3. What he said was true.
    4. When I shall return is uncertain.
    5. How he could assist his friend was his chief concern.
    6. Why he left is a mystery.
    7. Whether we can start tomorrow seems uncertain.
    (From High School English Grammar & Composition By Wern & Martin)
    According to your replies, they are simplex sentences, I think.
    But Wern and Martin say they are complex sentences.
    What is your suggestion for me?
    Thank you very much.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitemoon View Post
    By the way, please could you tell me what is the definition of simplex sentence and its example?
    According to Wern & Martin, the source you're working from,
    A simple sentence is one which has only one subject and one predicate [p158] (Click here to read more).
    So, by their definition the sentence That you should say so surprises me would be considered a complex sentence because, and again by their definition, it houses more than one subject + finite verb pair:
    [1] you/should
    [2] that you should say so/surprises
    Their definition of a complex sentence,
    A complex sentence consists of one Main Clause and one or more Subordinate Clauses [p158, 159, 160 (See link above)]
    is problematic when it comes to the assumption that the 'subordinate clause' functions dependently; i.e., that it is 'joined to' the main clause, which it isn't in your example. In your example, the subordinate clause functions as a subject, which makes it part of an SVO sentence, a simple structure, not a complex one, in my opinion and experience; however, if it's high school English that you're working on, then I'd follow Wern & Martin. It's a good source. Just remember that when a subodinate clause functions as a primary constituent of a sentence, it's not dependent; i.e., joined to a main clause, which, I believe, was the line of thought you had originally started out with.

    All the best.

  10. #30
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you analyze a complex sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Just remember that when a subodinate clause functions as a primary constituent of a sentence, it's not dependent; i.e., joined to a main clause, which, I believe, was the line of thought you had originally started out with.

    All the best.
    Hi Soup, you've done a great job so far. But you're not quite finished.
    These sentences with a subordinate clause as a noun clause subject are also called complex sentences in "Oxford Guide to English Grammar", 1994. p.318. I think these are complex sentences. The line of thought whitemoon started with was quite consistent (if not always clear). "I want to know which is the main clause and which is the subordinate clause" of such a complex sentence.
    I imagine the reason she wants to know is that her students must answer Exercise 37. in the grammar she quotes, which asks this same question.

    Since whitemoon rejected my solution about a month ago, I'm interested in yours. I'd like to see you give your best answer (as her pupils must do) to this two-part question:
    Given that a complex sentence has a main clause and a subordinate clause:
    In the complex sentence: "That you should say so surprises me.",
    1) What is the main clause.
    2) What is the subordinate clause.

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