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definition of the word clause

by the Wiktionnary

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< Middle English < Mediaeval Latin clausa (a clause) (Latin diminutive clausula (a clause, close of a period)) < Latin clausus, pp. of claudere (to shut, close); see close.



clause (plural clauses)

  1. (informal, grammar) A group of two or more words which include a subject and any necessary predicate (the predicate also includes a verb, conjunction, or a preposition) to begin the clause; however, this clause is not considered a sentence for colloquial purposes.
  2. (grammar) A word or group of words ordinarily consisting of a subject and a predicate; in some languages and types of clauses, the subject may not appear explicitly; one clause may be coordinated with or embedded in another within a single sentence.
  3. (law) A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.

An examples of a grammatical dependent clause is When it got dark, they went back into the house. “When it got dark” is the clause within the complete sentence. The conjuction when begins the main clause (when it got dark, …); however, the pronoun it lacks a declared subject causing the reader to expect a subordinate clause to complete the idea.

Definition from Wiktionary
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