Is Clause A Verb: 5 Facts You Should Know

We often ask a question ‘is clause a verb?’. Sometimes we think whether it is a verb .This article will discuss it in detail and will find answers to some of your doubts with the help of some facts.

Clause  is not a verb. It is a group of words arranged with a subject and a verb. On the other hand ,verb is a word which we use to denote an action.

Let us look at some examples and understand what a clause is.

1.Roger plays football.

  Here Roger is the subject and  play  is the verb.This sentence as a whole we call a clause.

2. I eat apples

 Here ‘I’ is the subject and ‘eat’ is the verb and this sentence is an example of a clause.

In both the above sentences we noticed a subject and a verb. So a clause cannot be equated to just a  verb. It is a perfect combination of a subject and a verb. A clause is formed when a verb is written along with its subject and modifiers.

3. Children  laugh when they see a clown.

    Here we have two clauses. They are “children laugh”  and “when they see a clown”.

What type of word is clause?

Clause is not a word. It is a collection of words which includes a subject and a verb.

It can be a main clause,a dependent clause ,relative clause ,etc.So clause is not a word.It is a group of words including a verb and a subject.

For example:

1.The dog barked

In the above clause ‘dog’ is the subject and ‘bark’ is the verb.

2.The baby laughed.

Here baby is the subject and laugh is the verb.

Above clauses include not only a verb but also a subject.

Is dependent clause a verb?

We cannot say that a dependent clause is  a verb. It is a clause which cannot express complete meaning independently since it needs a main clause to make it a meaningful sentence

Dependent clause is also known as  subordinate clause .It cannot function alone as a  meaningful sentence unless it is linked to a main clause.

     Let us look at some examples.

1. When they arrived, it was raining heavily.

 Here “when they arrived” is the dependent clause. It cannot convey a complete meaning .We have to answer what happened when they arrived to make it a meaningful sentence.Then only it will get a complete meaning .So we have to say ‘it was raining heavily’.

2.I wore the dress which was gifted by my mother.

Here ‘which was gifted by my mother’ is the dependent clause.It cannot convey the complete meaning without getting linked to a main clause.Here the main clause is ‘I wore the dress’.

What is a verbal clause?

 Verbal clauses are clauses in which the predicate is of a finite verb form.

  1.Ann came yesterday.

   Here ‘came’ is a finite verb.

 2.Sara likes the doll.

   Here ‘like’ is a finite verb.

Is subordinate clause a verb?

A subordinate clause is note a verb.It is a clause which cannot stand alone as a sentence to convey a proper meaning.It should be attached to a main verb to convey the complete meaning,

A Subordinate clause is the one which joined with a main clauses with the help of subordinate conjunctions.

Examples of subordinate clause:

 1.While the police went outside ,the thief escaped.

       Here ‘while the police went outside’ does not become a full sentence or a meaningful one.It needs the main clause ‘the thief escaped’ to complete a meaningful sentence .’While’ is the subordinate conjunction.

2. If I can find the pen

 The above group of words or clause does not convey complete meaning as a sentence .We could not answer the ‘if’.This is a subordinate clause .It needs another main clause to stand as a complete meaningful sentence.

Is relative clause a verb?

A relative clause cannot be called a verb .It is a dependent clause which is linked or attached to the main clause with a relative pronoun.

  We use relative pronouns such as that,who,whom,whose, etc to connect or link a dependent clause to a main clause.

For example;

1.He is the boy who lives near the St .Antony’s church.

Here ‘who lives near the St.Antony’s church is the relative clause.Itcannot be construed as a complete sentence when it stands alone.So we used the relative pronoun ‘who’ to link it with a main clause to make it a complete meaningful sentence.

2.We need to find a  vegetable shop that sells farm fresh vegetables.

Here ‘that sells farm fresh vegetables is the relative clause’. .It cannot be viewed as a complete sentence when it stands alone. So we used the relative pronoun ‘that’ to link it with a main clause to make it a complete meaningful sentence.


So from our discussion, it is clear that a clause is not a verb.It is a group of words or a sentence which includes a verb and a subject.We have understood the concept of a  a dependent clause as well.A dependent clause cannot stand alone to make a complete meaningful sentence .It needs to be connected with a main clause to complete its meaning .

We have also talked about another important concept called a relative clause.There  we came to know that  when a subordinate or dependent clause is linked to a main clause with the help of a relative pronoun, we call it a relative clause.

Ammu Shaji

Hi, My name is Ammu Shaji. I hail from Kerala. I hold a post-graduate degree in English Language and Literature. I am an Academic writer by passion and profession. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

Recent Posts