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    #1

    Embedded clauses -v- dependent clauses

    Hi

    I hope you can help. I'm having a mental block on embedded clauses. I think they 'add information to the main clause'. I think they can't stand alone and make sense. I'm struggling to understand the difference between an embedded clause and a dependent clause. Here's an example

    Would you consider yourself stressed?

    I would insert clause boundaries as:

    || would you consider || yourself stressed ||

    But is 'yourself stressed' an embedded clause or an independent clause?

    I can't move it as the sentence would not make sense. Therefore it can't be independent. How do I determine whether it is embedded or dependent?

    Thank you for your help.

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    #2

    Re: Embedded clauses -v- dependent clauses

    For all practical purposes, "embedded" and "dependent" can be taken as having the same meaning. You are right; an embedded/dependent clause can't stand alone; instead it functions as a subordinate clause in some larger construction.

    But in your example, "yourself stressed" is not a clause; "yourself" is the object of "consider" and "stressed" is an adjective functioning as objective predicative complement. You can't move it of course because an object normally follows the verb, and is then followed by an objective complement (if there is one).
    Last edited by PaulMatthews; 23-Apr-2016 at 17:34.

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    #3

    Re: Embedded clauses -v- dependent clauses

    Good point Paul, I see where you are coming from - that 'stressed' is describing a quality. But if I parse it on the Stanford Parser it says its a verb in the past tense, so any idea how I decide which is 'right'? For example, would it make a difference if the sentence was 'do you consider you are stressed?' and should I take that into account?

    PS I'm in the dark about objective complements...

    Thank you again.

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    #4

    Re: Embedded clauses -v- dependent clauses

    "Stressed" is also the past tense form of the verb "stress", so perhaps that's why. Generally, if the word in question can be modified by a degree adverb like "very", that is a good indication that it's an adjective, not a verb.

    In "Do you consider you are stressed"? the meaning of "stressed" is adjectival, just as it is in your earlier example.

    Objective complements are like subjective complements except they relate to the object:

    [1] "Ed seems reliable. (subjective complement)
    [2] "I consider Ed reliable". (objective complement)

    In both those examples, the property of being 'reliable' is ascribed to "Ed", but in [1] "Ed" is the subject of the sentence, whereas in [2] "Ed" is the object of "consider", hence the terms 'subjective' complement and 'objective' complement.

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    #5

    Re: Embedded clauses -v- dependent clauses

    Thank you Paul, I'm beginning to get it now!

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