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  1. Fame's Avatar
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    #1

    How to define a clause?

    If I need to divide a text into clauses, what should I look for?


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    #2

    Re: How to define a clause?

    A sentence fragment which has a subject-predicate unit is a clause.

  2. Fame's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How to define a clause?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    A sentence fragment which has a subject-predicate unit is a clause.
    I'm sorry I don't understand. Can you please give some examples with these sentences:

    A source close to the department said the study – which reviews building design in relation to the city’s urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features – was reaching the final stage and professionals’ views would be sought in October after it was completed.

    Recommending that 30 per cent of development sites should be devoted to greenery, the researchers note that past studies had shown that a 10 per cent increase in green coverage could reduce average city temperatures by one degree. In some places such as Japan and the mainland, 30 per cent green coverage was required by law, the source said.

    The study found that existing sky gardens and podium gardens – green features for which developers receive floor area credit – are not as effective as they should be in increasing air flow and diluting pollutants from the surrounding area.


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    #4

    Re: How to define a clause?

    I'll do the first sentence as an illustration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    I'm sorry I don't understand. Can you please give some examples with these sentences:

    A source close to the department said the study – which reviews building design in relation to the city’s urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features – was reaching the final stage and professionals’ views would be sought in October after it was completed.

    (1) A source close to the department said
    (2) the study was reaching the final stage
    (3) professionals' views would be sought in October
    (4) after it was completed
    (5) which reviews building design in relation to the city's urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features.

    .

  3. Fame's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How to define a clause?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I'll do the first sentence as an illustration.
    Thanks Clark but it still doesn't make sense to me. It seems there are no rules to devide sentences into clauses.


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    #6

    Re: How to define a clause?

    Every clause has a subject and a predicate.

    e.g. A source close to the department said ...

    Subject - a source
    Predicate - said
    (close to the department - an attributive phrase)

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How to define a clause?

    Fame, there's another way to do it. It's a 2 step process. First, look for the main verbs; the main verb is the key to the clause. Second, once you've found all the verbs, look to see if there is a nominal (e.g., a noun or pronoun) before it. If so, then it's probably, but not always, a clause.

    Let's practise.

    Step 1: find the main verbs or words that look like main verbs
    A source close to the department said the study – which reviews building design in relation to the city’s urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features – was reaching the final stage and professionals’ views would be sought in October after it was completed.
    Step 2 look for nominals
    A source close to the department said the studywhich reviews building design in relation to the city’s urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features – [the study] was reaching the final stage and professionals’ views would be sought in October after it was completed.
    In sum
    1. A source ... said [that]
    2. the study was reaching the final stage and
    3. professionals’ views would be sought in October after
    4. it was completed.

    5. –which reviews building design in relation to the city’s urban environment, looking at such things as air flow and green features–

    Note that, looking at has a noun before it, the noun 'environment', but it's separated by a comma (,) and so 'environment, looking at' isn't a pair, and doesn't form a subject + predicate structure, which is what all clauses require.
    Now you try.


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    #8

    Re: How to define a clause?

    It's a very common problem when students find it difficult to distinguish between a participle and a verb in a sentence. e.g. A source close to the department said ...
    Esp. when participial phrases are not separated by commas. That's why we usually teach them non-finite forms for the whole semester.

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