Kinds of Clauses


Clause is a part of sentence. Sentence is a group of words that contain a subject and predicate making complete sense by itself. A group of words that contains subject and predicate and is part of sentence is called as a Clause.

Kinds of clauses
Clauses are of three kinds-

1.  Principal Clause
2.  Subordinate Clause
3. Coordinate Clause
A sentence may consist of one or more than one clause.


  1. The children are playing in a ground.
  2. The children are playing in the ground which has a layer of grass.
  •  Sentence (a) has only one subject, ‘children’ and one predicate ‘are playing in a ground’.

So this sentence contains only one clause.

  • In sentence (b), there are two clauses-
  1. The children are playing in a ground.

[Subject-children, predicate- are playing in a ground (verb- are playing)] 

  1. Which has a layer of grass

[Subject-which, predicate- has a layer of grass (verb- has)]

          In this sentence, clause 1 makes complete sense so it is called as Principal Clause but clause 2 does not make complete sense. It depends on clause 1 to make complete sense so it is called as Dependent or Subordinate clause.

Sometimes sentence may contain two or more main clauses.

I play a drama and Alka plays one act play.
This sentence contains two clauses
1. I play a drama
   [Subject- I, predicate- play a drama (verb- play)]
2. Alka plays one act play
   [Subject- Alka, predicate- plays one act play (verb- plays)]
 In this sentence, two clauses are joined by the conjunction ‘and’. Both clauses make complete sense independently. Such clauses which make complete sense
independently are called as Coordinate Clauses.

Note- The word ‘dependent’ means something depends on another
                               ‘subordinate’ means of less importance
                                ‘coordinate’ means equal in importance.

Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.