All clauses in English have at least two parts: a noun phrase and a verb phrase

Noun phrase (subject) Verb phrase
The children
All the people in the bus
laughed
were watching

But most clauses have more than two parts:

 

Noun phrase (subject) Verb phrase    
The children
John
All of the girls
This soup
Mary and the family
She
laughed
wanted
are learning
tastes
were driving
put

a new bicycle
English
awful
to Madrid
the flowers




 
in a vase

The first noun phrase is the subject of the sentence:

The children laughed.
John wanted a new bicycle.
All the girls are learning English.
She put the flowers in the vase.

English clauses always have a subject:

His father has just retired. Was a teacher. He was a teacher.
I’m waiting for my wife. Is late. She is late.

… except for the imperative which is used to give orders:

Stop!
Go away.

… and for "soft imperatives" like invitations and requests:

Please come to dinner tomorrow.
Play it again please.

If we have no other subject we use "there" or "it" as subject. We call this a ‘dummy subject’:

There were twenty people at the meeting..
There will be an eclipse of the moon tonight.

It’s a lovely day.
It’s nearly one o’clock.
I have toothache. It hurts a lot.

Exercise

Comments

Hello pumbi,

Yes, the relative pronoun 'that' can follow 'everywhere', which is an indefinite pronoun. Much of the time, 'that' is left out, however, which may be why you found it strange.

For this kind of thing, it's sometimes useful to do a thought experiment by replacing 'everywhere' with a noun phrase, e.g. 'I have my phone all the places that I go'. That sentence is grammatically correct and the fact that it is correct suggests that the version with 'everywhere' is also.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
''While eating my bun, my phone rang''
If ''eating my bun'' is a phrase, why can it take the conjunction and if it isn't a clause, why is the comma there?
''There are seats outside but some people don’t like sitting outdoors''
Why there is no comma before ''but''. We usually put a comma to form a compound sentence.
''My grandmother’s name was Wall. But she became Jenkins when she got married to my grandfather.''
I've read we don't start sentence, using conjuctions. Why can it be used here?
Thank you.

- In your second question, why is there no comma before 'but'?. In sentences which contain 2 or more clauses, we need (a) marker(s) to separate clauses. Commas and 'but' are used as markers in sentences. In 'There are seats outside but some people don’t like sitting outdoors', we understand that there are two different clauses and each comes before and after 'but', that's why there is no need to use a comma.

- In your first example, I think the correct form would be like this 'While I was eating my bun, my phone rang'. We use a comma here to separate the 2 clauses, without the comma it would not be easy to distinguish each clause.

- There is no such rule stated that sentences can't be started with conjunctions. I would love to recommend you the link below for further information about sentences: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/about-words-clau...

Hello MCWSL,

We generally do not comment on examples of language from elsewhere. This is because we do not vouch for their accuracy or their purpose, by which I mean that language is very flexible and writers may choose to break or bend rules to suit their particular needs, particularly in fiction or in rhetorical pieces. It's also necessary to know the context of a particular example in order to comment perceptively.

As far as the use of commas goes, it is partly grammatical but is also a question of style. I have no way of knowing whether the sentence you quote deliberately omits a comma or does so by mistake. It is not possible to comment with any confidence on such things.

There is no rule which says that sentences cannot be started with conjunctions. It may or may not be considered good style, but 'rules' like this are not germane to the language; they are imposed upon it artificially.

Your first example is an example of a reduced relative clause:

While (I was) eating my bun, my phone rang.

However, the sentence has a problem. As written, it suggests that the phone was eating your bun, which would be rather odd to say the least.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

''While eating my bun, my phone rang''

If ''eating my bun'' is a phrase, why can it take the conjunction and if it isn't a clause, why is the comma there?

''There are seats outside but some people don’t like sitting outdoors''
Why there is no comma before ''but''. We usually put a comma to form a compound sentence.

''My grandmother’s name was Wall. But she became Jenkins when she got married to my grandfather.''
I've read we don't start sentence, using conjuctions. Why can it be used here?

Thank you.

Hello pc learning team
still i'm not understood well what the Clause structure please let me more explanation about it

Khadar

Hello khadar.awl,

I'm not sure what other information we can provide. The definition of a clause is:

a unit of grammatical organization next below the sentence in rank and in traditional grammar said to consist of a subject and predicate

There is more information above and also on this page. If you have a specific question we will try to answer but I'm not sure what we can add to these definitions.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

"Put that table over there in the corner"

Why the table is not the subject?

regrads

"the table" in the sentence given is affected by the action of the verb "Put", so its function is object (a direct object in particular).
A subject of a sentence (declarative form) is a person or thing which performs the action of a verb.

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