Subordinate clauses in sentences

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. The slide in the Activity page can be displayed on a projector or smart board.

On the slide are several subordinate clauses, including finite and nonfinite clauses. Ask your students to compose 10 new sentences, each containing at least one of the subordinate clauses. Encourage them to use more than one subordinate clause in a sentence.

There are some strong grammatical patterns that guide us. For example, compare:

The first example works as it fits a grammatical pattern we know, while the second one doesn’t (so is marked with an asterisk to indicate that it is ungrammatical). We could fix the second example by writing: He wants to drink a Coke.

Note that some of the tiles in the slide could be integrated into main clauses. For example, drinking a Coke is a subordinate clause in the following:

However, drinking a Coke is not a subordinate clause in the following:

In the above example, the present participle drinking is part of the past progressive verb phrase was drinking, with the Subject he. He is the Subject of the sentence and the main clause.

Another issue involves ordering. Ask students the following questions:

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Subordinate clauses in sentences: Activity

Try to construct 10 new sentences, each containing one or more of these subordinate clauses.

because I finished yesterday
because I feel full of 'flu
after the rain had ended
while he wasn't looking
drinking a Coke
that the firm has launched a full investigation
to improve the system
to keep a criminal in jail
until we meet next week
thinking of my experiences at school
confronted with this evidence
if you see him there
when you have finished

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