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Clause structure

Average: 4.1 (18 votes)

All clauses in English have at least two parts:
The children played.
All the people in the room were laughing.

These sentences have a noun phrase and a verb phrase.
Noun phrase + verb phrase
The children played
All the people in the room were laughing

Most clauses have more than two parts:
Noun phrase + verb phrase
Peter  wanted a new car
All the people in the room were laughing loudly at him
All her children speak French
The pizza tastes nice

The first noun phrase is the subject of the sentence:
Peter wanted a new car.
All her children speak French.

Clauses in English always have a subject.
All her children speak French. Their father was from France. He died last year. (NOT Died last year.)
Except for the imperative
Come in. Go away! (although the subject is understood)

In certain sentences we use ‘it’ and ‘there’ to become the subject:
It’s hot today.
It’s time to leave
There is going to be a heat wave soon.
There will be a lot of people at the party.

Lesson by Tristan, English teacher at EC Malta English school

Select the words that form the subject in the following:
(there are some sentences that do not have a subject

  • 1. I felt rather tired.






  • 2. It was too cold to go out last night.








  • 3. There is no point in trying to explain it to him.






  • 4. Bargain hunters will wait for hours in front of shops during the sales.









  • 5. Put the suitcases on the top of the wardrobe in your room.







  • 6. This is the first time I’ve seen snow.







  • 7. You and your friends can come to visit whenever you like.







  • 8. Don’t blame me for the weather.