Competency Puzzle “Apply Grammar” Pieces D-15.01 to 15.05: Join Co-ordinate & Subordinate (Independent & Dependent) Clauses in Compound & Complex Sentences; Use Noun Clauses (in Indirect Statements & Questions); Add Adjective Clauses; Relate Ideas with Adverb Clauses.
Remember what used to be thought of as “grammatical analysis” in linguistically logical circles? Diagramming sentences! Here’s a download of a sample multi-clause Compound-Complex Sentence, with a linear-text “Answer Key” attached to the Diagram. Whoever posted it explained by saying “I’ve stumbled upon this really long sentence, and now I’m wondering if it is grammatically correct.” What do you think?
“Yes,” responded an onscreen authority. “It is grammatically correct.” But even so, so what? The writer of this D-15 Post tried substituting analogous elements in order to apply the grammar of the sentence to reality. (Results are below.) Yet I’m still not clear on what this isolated Compound / Complex Sentence means to say. Again, what do you think?
“So we figured since we’re real people and we’re in the world (and we’re actually us)—and others want to use us as we are in actual grammar instruction—and I didn’t even know yet I was (supposed to be) my real self in these blog posts—although I did know I was their writer but I didn’t know I was (to be) recognized in these articles as myself, our readers had better let us know that I’m perceived in these writings as myself—and let me decide if after I knew I could be me writing my own thoughts in the text that I would be okay with being genuine in the onscreen article as myself—now that we know there’s actually a website with me in it.”
So is that what comes of “analyzing structural patterns” in an elderly, orderly manner? If so, wouldn’t it be better for me (a writer) to just say what I mean about D-15. Apply-Grammar: Join Co-ordinate & Subordinate (Independent & Dependent) Clauses in Compound vs. Complex Sentences? That way, I can base my assertions on D-15.01 to D-15.05 offerings: Coordinating Conjunctions; Time, Reason, Opposition, & Other Adverb Clauses; Conditionals; Indirect & Imbedded Statements & Questions (in Reported Speech); Sequence of Tenses; and Connectors—like and, but, or, so (that); who(m], which, that; when [ever], before, after, while, until, as soon as; that, if, whether, unless; because, since; etc. In other words, I’ll be free to talk about these concepts and vocabulary without any if’s, and’s, or but’s—or do I mean with all of these words?
Competency Puzzle “Apply Grammar” Pieces D-15.01 to D-15.05: Independent / Co-Ordinating vs. Dependent / Subordinate (Noun, Adjective, & Adverb) Clauses in Simple, Compound, & Complex Sentences
This article is the tenth installment of “How to Put Together Puzzle Parts & Pieces That Make Language Work: “Apply Grammar.” It main area of focus is Compound & Complex Sentence-Building with Independent (Main) & Dependent (Subordinate) Clauses.
But let’s take a pre-break to laugh about visuals. Here again—with “D. Apply Grammar” circled—is our graphic of ten major Puzzle Parts & Pieces A-J for language instruction. It’s surrounded by Infographics—pertaining to Compound & Complex Sentences, (Noun, Relative, & Adverb) Clauses, Connecting Words & Phrases—and humor that mentions those things.
Why Use Sentences?
Everyone wants to understand and produce sentences. Why is that?
Sentences express “complete thoughts.” Even abrupt Imperatives like “Listen” or “Stop!” do this. So do Short Answers ( “Yes, you can.” “Right now.”). Exclamations ( “Happy Birthday!” “Thank you!” ) communicate, too. How is this possible? Some sentence components are “understood from the context.”
Sentences have various purposes. Imperatives give directions. Statements state information. Interrogatives ask questions. Interjections show excitement. Do you want to demonstrate your linguistic abilities? With sentences, you can make requests. You can fulfill them, too. You can tell your individual needs. Others can make suggestions. Everyone can name or describe people, places, and things. We, you, or they can prove our, your, or their competence in many areas of usage.
So what is a sentence? A sentence could be an isolated combination of sounds. For instance, Plop! Achoo! Shhhh, and Woof! might be heard as complete messages. A sentence might consist of only a single word (Help! Catch. Really? Why? Good-Bye.). Even a punctuation mark ( ! ? ) could express a full thought—like Wow! or Huh? or What the . . . ?
Even so, a complete sentence is typically an Independent Clause. What does this mean? A full sentence is a unit of language. It accommodates a Sentence Subject plus a Predicate with a Verb. Its words and phrases could stand alone. They could “be independent” of other verbiage. In context with meaning, a sentence “makes sense” on its own.
A Simple Sentence is a single Independent Clause. Its one Subject can be a sole word or phrase. Its Predicate can be a lone Verb (Phrase) of one or several words. Yet many Subjects and Verbs consist of “head words” with modifiers. Modifiers limit, change, or add to meanings of other words. They can be Articles ( like a/an or the ), Auxiliaries like do(es) or can(’t) ), Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositional Phrases, or other elements. And Verb Predicates can include Objects, Subject or Verb Complements, and more.
But complete Independent Clauses don’t have to be “Simple Sentences.” Connectors like and, (n)or, but, or yet can compound their (Noun or Pronoun) Subjects. Single– or multi-word Verbs can be compound, too. So can Objects, Describers, and other sentence components. In fact, almost all grammatical elements can be in series of three or more items.
Want examples of Simple Sentences? All verbiage in the above section consists of single, complete Independent Clauses.
Why Combine Independent Clauses—and / or Why Produce Compound Sentences?
Discourse with only complete Simple Sentences may sound choppy; even with compound Subjects and/or compound Verbs, one-clause sentences may not say enough. This may pose a problem, but speakers and writers can resolve the issue. They can join two or more Independent Clauses with Subjects + Predicates, and these can form a Compound Sentence. Compounds have advantages, but what are they?
Compound Sentences can “sound fluent,” and they can “look good” in writing. In speech, short pauses convey their connections; in printed text, these can be indicated by punctuation and/or “linking words.”
It’s easy to join short Independent Clauses, for their meanings relate naturally to one another. Many people put semicolons ( ; ) between them, yet references marks aren’t the only option. The most frequently used Coordinating Conjunctions are and, or, but, and so, but in more formal discourse, yet, for, or nor might sound right, too.
The least complicated Compound Sentences contain only two main clauses with a mark or conjunction between them; however, their syntax could be made more effective. For instance, more than two clauses could be incorporated into one compound sentence, and/or Conjunctive Adverbs like furthermore, besides, on the other hand, incidentally, or anyway might be inserted, and/or elegant punctuation like parentheses ( ) or dashes ( — ) could surround additional verbiage, and/or functional phrasing with Infinitives, Gerunds, or Participles might enhance meaning, and/or . . . .
Have you had enough of Compound Sentences—or do you want explicit examples? All of the wordy verbiage in the above section consists of Independent Clauses, and these are combined into Compounds, but you may not have noticed all the stand-alone word combos, so you can read them again, and then their Subjects will be obvious, and their Predicates will stand out, or you’ll recognize their Conjunctions, and so . . . .
Why Attach Dependent to Independent Clauses Because You Hope (That) the Result Will Be That You’ll Make Complex Sentences?
You probably know that Independent Clauses are also called Coordinate Clauses because they’re usually linked by Coordinating Conjunctions. But have you noticed how strung out rhetoric that contains only Compound Sentences may sound? That’s due to the fact that its language consists solely of self-contained Clauses. Given that these “Main Clauses” correspond to one another, their Subject + Predicate combinations won’t provide much variety, even when they vary in length.
It’s not required, however, that all clauses be autonomous. Subject + Predicate word groupings that can't “stand alone” are known as Dependent or Subordinate Clauses. And whenever one or more of these are attached to an Independent Clause, they form a Complex Sentence. Since there are so many kinds of clausal consolidations, most of which fulfill defined linguistic purposes, they have many advantages in the communicative expression of ideas. Here’s how they can do so:
Subordinate Clauses in Complex Sentences are typically introduced by transitional words—i.e, Conjunctions or Connectors like because, although, while, whereas, when (ever), since, until, as soon as, whether . . . or not, who (m), etc., which indicate the relationships of their Subject + Predicate Clauses to a Main Clause. Inasmuch as they can serve as Nouns, Adjective, or Adverbs, the functionality of Dependent Clauses is manifold.
If you want to indicate Time Relationships, you can start Dependent Clauses with connectors like when (ever), as soon as, before, once, while, since, or by the time. In cases where showing Causality is the aim, words like because, since, now that, or as (a result of) may suffice. Clauses with so / such . . . that, to the end that, or the like can signify Results, Effect, and/or Purpose in any context where they’re needed—unless they’re grammatically inappropriate, of course.
Although Opposition can be expressed in Coordinated Clauses of Compounds with but or yet, the conjunctions although, even though, despite (the fact that), or in case can denote Subordination in Complex Sentences. And since (Real & Contrary-to-Fact) Conditionals are so common, it’s advisable that speakers and writers master Subordinate Clauses that commence with if, unless, whether (or not), in case, provided that, and other (adverbial) connecting words or phrases.
If you want to vary the sound of your Complex Statements or Questions, you can begin sentences with Subordinate Clauses so that they’re not needed at the end. And it’s likely that you already know how to shorten or lengthen them so (that) they even look different in printed text.
No matter which interrelationships you ought to convey, whatever methods you use to attach one or more Dependent Clauses to one “Main Clause” are likely to enhance meaning. Noun Clauses that start with how (ever), who (ever), what (ever), where (ever), when (ever), why, or equivalent words will work well when they serve as Subjects, Objects, or Predicate Nominatives.
Adjective Clauses, which are also called Relative Clauses when they’re anchored by Relative Pronouns like who (m), whose, that, which, when, or where, will ensure that Nouns or Pronouns can be detailed in full. Wish (that) you could have mastered these when they came up in Downloads that were designed to cover Describing Words & Phrases? Not to worry—even if we had left out Adjective Clauses inadvertently, we’d certainly have corrected that omission by now. And whether or not you’re deliberately looking for them, Relative Pronouns are sure to come up in relation to Clauses.
And Adverb Clauses, which may account for the majority of Subject / Predicate sequences that don’t constitute full sentences, can begin, end, or appear in the midst of Main (Independent) Clauses. As is the case with many one-word or phrasal Adverbs, they’ll serve to answer questions that begin with “Where?,” “When?” “How?” “Why?” and perhaps other interrogatives.
So by the time you’ve read this much of this article, we’re betting (that) you’ve had your fill of Complex Sentences. But in the same way you got to analyze examples of Simple & Compound Sentences, you’re invited to look back at linguistic units in this section of text, during which process you’ll convince yourselves that there’s almost no end to the possibilities that arise when you expand your sentences—especially when you do so with well-constructed, meaningful, artfully linked sequences of Subjects & Predicates that fulfill all the grammatical purposes that exist . . . .
Assuming That You’re Content with Previously Mentioned Sentence-Combining Techniques, as Soon as You’ve Attached Dependent Clauses to Independent Ones, Why Not Merge Two or More Co-ordinated Clauses Regardless of Whether or Not You Intend to Create Compound-Complex Sentences?
If you’ve understood the preceding information, and why wouldn’t you have unless you weren’t paying attention, then you can already define what a Compound-Complex Sentence is, so you won’t have to look up how grammarians describe it and there will be no need for labeled examples—because as you’ll see, just about everyone claims (that) a Compound-Complex Sentence is simply an entity that contains both coordinating and subordinating Subject + Predicate Clauses, and now that you understand that, you can just move ahead however you wish, even if you just want to finish with this blog post, or—in case you’d like some realistic teaching/learning materials, which you can download and use right now, you’ll be free to so. Right? So let’s do it!
D-15.01 to D-15.05 = Independent / Co-Ordinating vs. Dependent / Subordinating (Noun, Adjective, & Adverb) Clauses in Compound & Complex Sentences Puzzle “Apply Grammar” Pieces D-15.01 to D-15.05
So. Enough “entertaining pedagogy” by now? Want to retrieve Lessons (Parts & Pieces) to use right away in practical instruction (presentations, practice, self-expression, communicative activity)? From WorkLife English Competency-Based Grammars, here are several to start with:
Before and on an Intermediate Level and beyond, here’s D-15.01: Parts One, Two & Four of Chapter 8: Joining Sentences (“Health & Illness”) of WorkLife English Grammar 3: An Immigration Story. Its first five pages show how full sentences can be linked with and, but, or, and so to narrate exciting events (like a trip to an Emergency Room) without unnecessary, distracting pauses. They then continue to (get users to) join Independent Clauses in the context of Medical Emergencies & Hospital Care.
Its next five pages persist in Joining Sentences, this time by expanding messages of Main Clauses with auxiliary Subject + Predicate Clauses, most of which start with when, until, as soon as, before, while, after, or if. With factual material about medical care and costs, Part Two introduces the concept of “Sequence of Tenses.” And as is often the case, its final pages in Part Four provide contextualized Grammar Review, Practice, and expressive Opportunity.
At a somewhat more challenging Level, D-15.02: Chapter 9: Conditionals & Indirect Statements / Questions (“Work & Money”) of WorkLife English Grammar 4: Cross-Cultural Communication first focuses attention on Dependent Clauses in Conditional patterns with if or wish. Its real-life Competencies are “Comparing Jobs,” “Choosing Types of Work,” and “Strategic Interviewing.” Part Three, titled “Getting a Business Loan,” proposes Direct Quotations to convert to Indirect (Reported) Speech. These then become Noun Clauses with sequenced Verb Tenses to install into larger linguistic units. Work on Imbedded & Indirect Questions ends the Chapter in Part Four. When learners ask, relay, and answer (telephone) questions about “Employment Procedures” and “Workplace Safety,” they’ll be polishing their ability to (use correct tenses) to report what others say or mean as well as to make their own messages clear.
To reinforce earlier learning by reorganizing its grammar topics, D-15.05: Chapter 10: Noun, Adjective, Adverb, & Conditional Clauses (“A Lifetime of Learning”) of WorkLife English Grammar 5: Language & Culture in Depth offers assessment, pedagogy, (transformational) exercises, and summary in diverse formats.
Part One begins with an irony-rich anecdote (“The ‘Rules’ of Formal English Usage”) with syntax to correct. Its grammar of “Noun Clauses after Verbs & Adjectives” helps learners to sensibly finish sentences that start with phrasing like “I suppose (that) . . . ,” “I’m not convinced (that) . . . ,” “Have you heard (that) . . . ,” “Someone told us (that) . . . ,” “If you ask me, it’s essential (that) . . . ,” or “I’d suggest (that) . . . .” All of these onsets—and their offshoots—are especially productive in these verbally controversial times. So are the processes for “Indirect (Reported) Speech” that follow. Using verb tense forms elegantly, speakers get to say, tell, ask, answer, explain, think, and wonder about their own and others’ information, ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Next, Part Two offers the diversion of Puns in Word Play, which text users can learn to understand and create while reviewing and revising “Adverb Clauses” (introduced by because, if, since, when, and other conjunctions). Correspondingly, Part Three incorporates colloquialisms, idioms, and other informal expressions into its story “What are they trying to say?” Appropriately, the real possibilities and imaginary hypotheticals of “The Conditional” take up most of its instructional practice space. To recap, Part Four’s Summary of Clauses, which re-presents three kinds of Subordinate Verb + Predicate consolidations, gets English speakers and writers to choose and insert words, combine paired sentences, and receive, explain, and/or follow steps and rules for language-oriented games. There’s plenty to learn with, do, and enjoy.
In D-15.03 & D-15.04: Lessons 81-90 & 91-100 of Chapters 9 & 10: Noun, Adjective, Adverb, & Conditional Clauses (“Immigration” “Travel & Recreation”) of WorkLife English Grammar 6: Issues & Answers, instruction and practice in Clauses come together one last time. There are two Chapter Openers that list both Content (“Immigration,” “Rules & Issues in Sports & Games,” “Travel Plans, Dreams, & Regrets,” and more) and pedagogic lesson titles such as “Noun Clauses After Be, Verbs, Adjectives, the Filler It, the Verbs hope, and wish”—plus “Direct Quotations vs. Indirect Speech,” “Sequencing of Tenses,” “Time, Opposition, Cause & Effect, Other Adverb, & If- Clauses.”
In 31 pages of 20 distinct one– to three-page Lessons, text users get to explore all of these topics, reviewing, using structural patterns to contextualize subject matter, and going beyond text material to polish their use of syntax and augment their linguistic competencies.
For example, in Lesson 81 (D-15.03), they can connect Noun Clauses to expound on the U.S. as “(not) the Land of Opportunity.” Lessons 82 helps listeners to comprehend and speakers to express “Facts & Opinions about Immigration (Laws)” in Clauses after certain Verbs (know, believe, hope, (dis)agree, etc.) and Adjectives (happy, (un)certain, convinced, worried, etc.), many as “Delayed Subjects After the Filler It.”
Without even using the term “Subjunctive Mood,” Lesson 84 shows English speakers how to verbalize “Steps in Immigration Processes” by subordinating Base Verbs to adjectives and verbs like essential, desirable, urgent; or ask, insist, require, and the like.
Direct Quotations and (their conversion to) Indirect (Reported) Speech fill the last six Lessons of Chapter 9—empowering English acquirers to talk about and write their own Personal Stories—and to hear, read, and teach or learn from everyone else’s experiences, goals, status, impressions, hopes, dreams, and futures. No one is to be left out: there are U.S. citizens, (permanent) residents, (non-)immigrants, (visa) students, visitors, officials, and others dedicated to the role of effective (upper-level) grammar use in Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, as well as other means of Knowledge Acquisition & Communication.
What’s left to benefit from in D-15.04? There are 17 pages in ten Lessons of Chapter 10: Adverb Clauses & Connecting Words. Focusing on Time Clauses in Lesson 91 and Clauses of Opposition (Contrast) in Lesson 92, participants have chances to discover and/or explain procedures of Sports they (would like to) know about. Then with Clauses of Cause (Reason) & Effect in Lesson 93, there’s opportunity to construct Complex Sentences with because, since, now that, and so/such ...that—in order to express opinions on athletics, pastimes, and other issues.
Lessons 94 & 95 contrast Clauses of Effect with Clauses of Purpose—and Adverb Clauses with Adverb Phrases. In grasping their instruction and following their instructions, text users not only get to (teach others to) play (traditional) party games but also to (re)consider the acclaimed Olympic Games. Finally, the various advantages of If-Clauses complete the Chapter material. Because the Lesson 96 context is Weather & Climate in Travel Planning, participants hear/talk and read/write about real Possibilities. They contrast such realities with their Present / Future Contrary-to-Fact “Travel Dreams” in Lesson 77.
Expression of “Travel Regrets” (actions that are no longer feasible) follows; next come Contrary-to-Fact Continuous Verb Forms in complaints about ongoing “(Recreational) Activity.” The Download ends with incorporation of Modal Verbs into multi-clausal conversations of (real vs. imaginary) parties—for teachers / learners to celebrate with after completing their study of so much English Grammar.
So. Ready to engage in sports? Play games with language? Close the books on targeted grammar curricula? Move on to concentrate on Oral & Written Language Skills—along with Content, Culture, & Context?
The offered Downloads: D-15.01 to D-15.05: Apply Grammar in Clauses in this blog post complete the Competency-Based Grammars and Scenarios: English Grammar in Context Programs. You will find them in Puzzle Piece D: Apply Grammar in worklifeenglish.com on the Work/Life English homepage. You will want to review and use them to make your life less stressful!
For monthly email newsletters with free tips, tools, and resources for English language teachers and learners, sign up here!