A clause is a group of words containing a subject and predicate or a finite verb. (A finite verb is a form of a verb that shows the tense, number and person.) A clause can be a simple sentence or part of a sentence.

Different elements – subject, verb, indirect object, direct object, complement, and adverbial – combined to form a clause as shown in the table that follows:

Subject Verb Indirect object  Direct object  Complement Adverbial
We  walked.        
Some guests have left.        
The robbers carried    guns.    
Time  passes      very slowly.  
They are playing        outside their house.
Bob  gave his dog a biscuit.    
The news made    her  angry.  
Jane  met    her boyfriend   at the tennis club.


There are two kinds of clauses: main (or independent) clauses and subordinate (or dependent) clauses. The main clause is also referred to as the principal clause. There are different types of subordinate clauses as shown here: