Structure of English Essay Example

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Co-ordinated clause is clause that contains a predicate and a subject that is introduced by a coordinating conjunction. The most common coordinating conjunctions are but or and. The connections of more than one coordinate clauses from a compound sentence.

Example; I will cook and she will wash utensils.

She was sick and her mother was in the hospital.

Adverbial clauses it’s a dependent clause that acts as an adverb (words that explain the place, time, frequency, degree or level of certainty).

Example; Jack, the artist, became excited as soon as she saw her drawing in the awards.

She talked slowly in order to appease the teacher.

Complement clauses it’s a clause that has been introduced by words or complementizers such as whether or that. ‘If’ is a complementizer when used to in a sentence to bring out the ‘whether’ meaning. This simply means that ‘if’ as a complementizer can be replaced with ‘whether’ and the full meaning of the sentence to be maintained.This type clause precedes a noun, verb or adjectives.

For example;Mary said that she is coming.

She never confirmed whether she will be coming.

If she will be coming, I will go with her.

Relative clause also referred to as adjective clause it is described as a dependent clause that cannot make sense when it is on its own. Relative pronouns include which, that, whom, whose and who. Who is used to describe an object or subject pronoun, whose refers to possession of animal, things or people, which refers to an object or subject, that refers to an object or subject involving animals, people or things.

Example; Do you know the man who was talking with my daughter?

Non-finite clause is a clause that contains verbs that doesn’t show tense. These types of clauses are used in the case of subordinate clauses. A non-finite clause is used when the subject is the same as the main clause.

For example, After having to prepare food the whole night, nobody showed up for the party.

There are several types of non-finite clauses they include to-infinitival, bare-infinitival, -ing participle and passive participle.

  • To-infinitival this is a clause that precedes the word ‘to’ before the doing word.

Example; She has gone to open the door.

  • Bare-infinitival is a clause whereby the verb is just mentioned without the help of an adverb.

Example; she has opened the door.

  • -ing participle is a verb that shows the continuous happening of an activity.

For example; she has been playing chess the whole day.

  • Passive participle is a verb that is done by the other party on behalf of another party.

For example; James threw the stone at Sheila on behalf of Mike.


One of the sharpest of these encounters was in the Puerta del Sol, the main square of Madrid, when the insurgents ran into (adverbial clause) a detachment of the Imperial Guard, a body that (complement clauses) had been put together to (to-infinitival) protect Murat. It included twenty-four Mamelukes — Egyptian mercenaries, whose (relative clause) disregard for the more fastidious French restraints of war, such as not gouging(-ing participle) out the eyes or cutting(-ing participle) off the genitals of the wounded, made them much feared. This guard was escorting a Captain Rossetti across Madrid towards the Buen Retiro when, at the Puerta del Sol, it ran into a swollen (passive participle) and excited crowd of citizens. The Mamelukes charged to clear the way across the square. The insurgents fought back, with knives, cutlasses, and such firearms as they had. Casualties on both sides were heavy, though in the confusion of the uprising their numbers were disputed (bare-infinitival) and remain uncertain. Throughout Madrid, Murat reported to Napoleon. «several thousand» rebels were killed. Hughes, Robert. 2004. Goya. London. Vintage. (p254)


Young, D. J. (2015). The structure of English clauses (Vol. 29). Routledge.

Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., Finegan, E., & Quirk, R. (1999). Longman grammar of spoken and written English (Vol. 2). MIT Press.