In language, a clause is a constituent that comprises a semantic predicand (expressed or not) and a semantic predicate.[1] A typical clause consists of a subject and a syntactic predicate,[2] the latter typically a verb phrase composed of a verb with any objects and other modifiers. However, the subject is sometimes unexpressed if it is retrievable from context, especially in null-subject language but also in other languages, including English instances of the imperative mood.

A complete simple sentence contains a single clause with a finite verb. Complex sentences contain at least one clause subordinated (dependent) to an independent clause (one that could stand alone as a simple sentence), which may be co-ordinated with other independents with or without dependents. Some dependent clauses are non-finite.

  1. ^ "Clause". 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ For a definition of the clause that emphasizes the subject-predicate relationship, see Radford (2004327f.).

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