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

What I wanted to talk to you about today was the team's performance.
can u explain me in this sentence about clause

Hello Akhil,

This is an example of what's commonly called a 'cleft sentence'. There's a BBC page that explains this a bit - if you have a specific question about your sentence, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.

There seems to be a problem in the quiz section. I can only solve until the 12th item then the arrow turns grey but it still shows remaining items. How can I access them?

Hello saresu,

There are only 12 sentences here but some sentences require multiple words to be selected. That is why it still shows items remaining. For example, if the subject is 'John and Sue' then that counts are three items, even though it is only one sentence.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
I would like to know why, in the 8th excersise, the subject is "What i wanted to talk to you about today.."

Hello Gaston Haro,

The main verb in the sentence is 'was', and the subject of that verb is 'What I wanted to talk to you about today'. Subjects can be verb long, as in this case, and can be made up of other subjects and verbs, as in this example, which together form a unit describing something; that something can then be the subject of another verb.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!
Could you explain to me the difference between these two sentences.
~Do you know the woman who is talking to Jim~
~Do you know the woman talking to Jim~
Thank you!

Hello chedD1t,

There is no difference in meaning between these two sentences. The first sentence is an example of a relative clause and the second is an example of a reduced relative clause. You can find more information on this structure on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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