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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Missing information |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} }} {{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} In grammar, a clause is the smallest grammatical unit that can express a complete proposition.<ref>For this basic definition in terms of a proposition, see Kroeger (2005:32).</ref> A typical clause consists of a subject and a predicate,<ref>For a definition of the clause that emphasizes the subject-predicate relationship, see Radford (2004327f.).</ref> where the predicate is typically a verb phrase – a verb together with any objects and other modifiers. However the subject is sometimes not expressed; this is often the case in null-subject languages if the subject is retrievable from context, but it also occurs in certain cases in other languages such as English (as in imperative sentences and non-finite clauses).

A simple sentence usually consists of a single finite clause with a finite verb that is independent. More complex sentences may contain multiple clauses. Main clauses (i.e. matrix clauses, independent clauses) are those that can stand alone as a sentence. Subordinate clauses (i.e. embedded clauses, dependent clauses) are those that would be awkward or incomplete alone.


Clause sections
Intro  Two major distinctions  Clauses according to a distinctive syntactic trait  Clauses according to semantic predicate-argument function  Representing clauses  Clauses vs. phrases  Non-finite clauses  See also  Notes  References  

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