Grammar-QuizzesClauses › Clause Structure

Clause Structure

Parts that make up a clause

X structure diagram
leaf fall
We saw some colorful leaves on the ground.
diagram

 

 

Clause Structure (Grammar Terms)

Summary of Practices

 

 

Function / Category: what it does vs. what it is called

Beginning – Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

Diagram: function category

Leaf  (Noun)

A leaf  (Noun Phrase)

A red leaf  (Noun Phrase)

A leaf fell. (Subject)

I found a red leaf(Object)

We have a leaf bin (Modifier)

 

Clause Elements ("constituents")

Subject / Predicate:  recognize basic content and function in a clause

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

subject

Charlie raised his hand.

Feeling confident, Charlie raised his hand.

Clever Charlie, my good friend, raised his hand.

Charlie raised his hand in the air.

Charlie enthusiastically raised his hand.

Nouns

A Noun: recognize how it can function in a clause

Beginning – Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

A private jet

jet  (noun)

A private jet (noun phrase)

Verbs

Verbs : recognize a primary vs. a secondary verb in a clause

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

walking for health

He walks / walked to work.  (primary)

He walked. (tense)

 

Verb Group :  recognize form and function in a clause

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

walk to work

We want to walk. (secondary)

He likes walking. (secondary)

He is being tiresome. (lexical "behaving")

He is walking. (auxiliary)  

He was walking. (aspect)

He might walked. (mood)

Verb Phrase : recognize its included parts

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Diagram: verb phrase

We want to walk. (secondary)
She likes walking. (secondary)
She is being tiresome. (lexical)
She is walking. (auxiliary)  
She was walking. (aspect)
She might walk. (mood)

Auxiliary Verbs: recognize how they express tense, aspect and mood

Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Diagram: Charlie hates sitting all day.

Charlie has raised his hand. (tense)

Charlie is raising his hand. (aspect)

Charlie may raise his hand again. (mood)

The question has been asked. (voice)

 

Finite and Nonfinite Clause

Finite / Nonfinite: recognize two clause categories (primary/secondary verbs)

Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Charlie dislikes sitting all day

Charlie wants to raise his hand.

Charlie likes raising his hand.

Charlie, annoyed, raised his hand.

A Clause: examine the parts that make up a clause

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

luggage

*Each year, millions of people travel to the U.S. In fact, eighty-six million.   (fragment)

*Put your suitcase down.  Over there. (fragment)
How about a visa? (fragment)

 

*error in sentence  

Complete Thought (logic)

Complete Thought: combine a topic and controlling idea

Intermediate – Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Complete Thought

Why are 20% of Americans unable to find the U.S. on a map?

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so (find the U.S. on a map) because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should…

Sentence Diagrams

because

Justin wore his winter pants because it was snowing.

coordinator

We walk and we talk.

present

The wind blows. / The wind blows leaves / The wind is strong. / The wind blows in the winter.

pres. progressive

Isabela is working tonight. / Helen is jogging around the track.

gerund-participle

Starting a sentence with a gerund is common.

gerund-participle

Charlie dislikes sitting all day.  (nonfinite clause)

if clause

We take an umbrella if it is raining (prep + clause)

infinitive clause

To start a sentence with an infinitive is awkward

It / an extraposed subject

It is hard for him to sit all day.   (infinitive clause with a subject) 

verb + infinitive

Ed needs to get some help.

verb + object + infinitive

Ed persuaded Frida to do the painting Ed intended Frida to do the painting.

auxiliary verbs

Charlie was raising his hand.

modals

Charlie will raise his hand.

We will be leaving at noon.

subject

Clever Charlie next to you raised his hand.

predicate

Charlie suddenly raised his hand high in the air.

rather than

We walked home rather than drove home.  / We walked home rather than get stuck in traffic.

so that / such that

The meteor was so beautiful that we watched it all night. /  It was such a beautiful meteor storm that we watched it all night.

because

Justin wore his winter pants because it was snowing.

We walk because we like exercise.  (diagram link at top of page)

dative verbs
(w/ indirect object)

You bought me a gift.

participle clause / adjunct modifier
clause)

The man who is seated beside the host is the guest.  The man seated beside the host is the guest.

participle clause
 (nonfinite clause)

Congress which consists of two houses in on a break. / Congress consisting of two houses is on a break.

participle clause 
(nonfinite clauses as modifiers)

The building sitting on Alcatraz Island was a federal prison.

participle clause 
(nonfinite clauses as modifiers)

The Golden Gate Bridge located in SF Bay was designed by Strauss.

prepositional phrase

We walk in the morning.