Clause, phrase and sentence


The basic unit of English grammar is the clause:

[An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother]

[and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.]

Clauses are made up of phrases:

[An unlucky student] + [almost lost] + [a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when] + [he] + [left] + [it] + [in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown] + [inherited] + [the 1698 Stradivarius violin] + [from his mother]

[and] [had just had it valued] + [by a London dealer] + [at £180,000.]

We can join two or more clauses together to make sentences.

An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000 when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.

William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.



Hello Koundinya,

I have answered your other question on this subject (here). Please note that our role here on LearnEnglish is primarily to help users with the material here on the site and, while we are happy to help learners with more general questions about English, we cannot really answer whole rafts of questions which resemble test or homework exercises. A question about an individual example or structure is one thing, but we really do not have the time to deal with something like this.

I hope my answer to your other question helps you with your task above.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

[Because you have done this], you must explain it.

Can someone explain on the clause written brackets if it is a noun/ adjective/ adverb clause and why

Hello Koundinya,

'Because' here is a conjunction and it introduces a dependent adverb clause which gives us more information about the main part of the sentence - here, it tells us the reason why the person must provide an explanation.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Sometimes we forget to close those doors that we left behind open which usually control us to embrace the newly open door which usually gives us the opportunity to move on and make us to a better person we are. So if we are brave enough to accept wholeheartedly the change that the newly open door offers to us, step backward turn about and shut those doors that weaken us to embrace possibilities.

Please do check if it is correct grammatically

Hi Jay Ar,

I'm afraid that we don't provide corrections of users' texts. If there's a specific phrase or even sentence you have a question about, you're welcome to ask about it, explaining where you are uncertain, but we are simply too small a team with too much work to be able to correct texts such as this one.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
I am Jalpan Dalwadi from India. I am very confused using "be" in a sentence. Please, explain the significance of using "be" in a sentence with sentence structure. For example, The prospect might not be able to verbalize the feeling.

Thank You.

Jalpan Dalwadi

Dear Jalpan,

I don't think it's possible to summarise all the ways that 'be' is used in English. In your example sentence, it's part of 'be able to (do something)', but there are many other uses too. I think you will find it more useful to learn these sorts of chunks of language individually, rather than trying to find a common use for 'be' in each one.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

I really like this website and was wondering if ALL the material is available as a single file for download. If not, is there a book you can recommend that has similar information?

Hello sherryannram,

I'm afraid the material here on LearnEnglish is available online only, other than specific elements on each page such as transcripts and printable activities.

The British Council does not recommend any particular books or publishers and, even if we were not required to remain neutral in this, choosing a book is an individual matter, dependent on the particular needs, strengths and weaknesses, interests and learning preferences of each person. My advice for you would be to sample a large number of different books, in a bookshop or online, and choose one that best suits you. The more you sample, the more of an idea you will have as to what will be of most use to you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team