The structure of the clause depends on the verb. For example:

  • An intransitive verb has the structure: N(=noun) + V(=verb): (John) + (smiled).
  • A transitive verb has the structure: N + V + N: (We) + (had been playing) + (football)
  • A link verb has the structure: N + V + Adj : (She) + (looked) + (happy)
  • A phrasal verb has the structure: N + V + pa(=particle) + N (She) + (gave) +(back) + (the money)
    or N + V + N + pa (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)

Particles can be either adverbs or prepositions. For a more detailed explanation of phrasal verbs, see our two- and three-part word and Multi-word verbs pages.



sorry what is p

Hello Marybeth,

At the top of the exercise (task) there is a legend which explains this. P = preposition.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


what if I had taken Jane to school and come back...
what if I had taken Jane to school and I had come back...
what if I had taken Jane to school, and what if I had come back...

Which one is correct, and why is it correct?

Thank you.

Hello MCWSL,

All of them are grammatically correct. When speaking informally, people tend to use the shortest option, i.e. the first one, but all are correct.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter

could you tell me any have lesson for using "after"

Hi taj25,

Please use the search facility (click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page) to look for relevant pages. If you type 'after' into the search window you'll see many results. The one headed 'verbs in time clauses and if clauses' is probably what you are looking for.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


Can I use either "be quiet" or the verb "silence" if I want to tell someone off from making noise ? Ie. "Be quiet or you will wake the kids" or "silence or you will wake the kid "? Which one is the right way to say it as I don't know the difference between these two

Also: Can I say : Mind what you are doing" or " Look out for what you are doing " if I want to warn someone?

Thank you.

Hello Widescreen,

'be quiet' is more common in informal speaking -- I say 'be quiet or you'll wake your brother and sister' several times a week to my oldest son! You can also say 'Silence!' to ask someone to be quiet, but it's usually used in a school context or in a context where you have more authority than the person who you're saying it, so it's not as widely appropriate as 'be quiet'.

'Mind what you're doing' is indeed correct. Anyone would understand your sentence with 'look out', but usually 'look out for' is followed by a noun phrase or a separate sentence, not a clause (as in your example). You can see examples of this in the dictionary entry for 'look out'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you very much


''I'll wait for you until you've finished cleaning''
In this case, the subordinate clause ends first and then the main follows.

I often find this kind of structures. For example,
A main clause has a future tense and a subordinate has present perfect. Therefore, the subordinate clause happens first. For instance, ''I will make sure that you have played hokey and been in Paris''

My question is: Would it be the same if I used future unreal in a main clause?

''It would be strange to see what Jack's played''

''I wouldn't want somebody pointing to all the mistakes I've made''

What will be different if past simple is used instead?

Than you.