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Complex sentence

The complex sentence as a polypredicative unit is built up on the principle of subordinationleading to the composition of two clauses: principal and subordinate. The clauses joined on the basis of subordinate syntactic relation are made recognizable due to either subordinate connectors (pure conjunctions): because, as, that, though, so that, than, until, before, after, if, while; conjunctive substitutes: what, whose, who, which, whom, when, where, why) or asyndetic punctuation, sentence order, intonation.

The principal clause definitely dominates the subordinate clause functionally and positionally, displaying correlation both with sentence parts and parts of speech, in other words with a syntactic function and a morphological status. Consequently, the two bases of classification are considered, namely, functionaland categorial. In accord with the categorial principle, subordinate clauses are classed by nominative properties of notional words as reflected in part-of-speech classification:

substantive – nominal (nounal), naming an event as a certain fact: e.g. What she wanted was love and respect. That this lovely woman accepted his brutality was a real surprise to me. I wanted to know how the damaged manuscripts had been restored. He was afraid that she might let him down;

qualification nominal (adjectival), naming an event as a certain characteristic of some other substantive entity: e.g. The photo showed the face that was pretty commonplace. I was introduced to Mr. Brown, whom I found clever and sympathetic. I’ll never forget the day when I met Linda;

adverbial, naming an event as a characteristic related to some process or quality: e.g. When she was through, she put the paper aside and relaxed. I was just curious, though it wasn’t any of my business. If it hadn’t been for his driving experience, we could have been crashed.

The categorial features of clauses go together with their functional sentence-part features. Based on the functional analogy between clausal and lexemic parts of the sentence (subject, predicate, object, attribute, adverbial modifier), the further on classification brings about the following types:

subject clause, founded on out the following types:

nce (subject, predicate, object, attribute, adverbial modifier), the further on class the two-way domination, introduces a substantive event in the position of a subject: e.g. Whether to do it or not is just the question. It is announced that the proper checks have already been made. That the things were not quite bad seemed to be a good sign. That he will accept the proposed amendments does not seem clear at all;

predicative clause, conforming to the predicative position, performs the function of the nominal part of the predicate adjoined to the link-verb: e.g. Work may be just what I want now. The strange thing is that they are disappointed with the new model. He looked as if he had been running fast. The reason is that he should have been less rude and cruel. She feels as though she were guilty;

object clause denotes an object-situation of the process expressed by the verbal constituent of the principal clause: e.g. It has never come to me that she could have let me down. I just can’t even fancy how far away she might be now. He was totally appalled with what she was telling him. I have been wondering why he was worrying so much;

attributive clauses of the three syntactic functions: descriptive expressing some additive supplementary characteristic of the substantive referent: e.g. We saw a small house behind the fence, the windows of which were wide open. The scientist, whose works are highly appreciated, was awarded the Nobel Prize. We found a nice lawn, where we decided to put up a tent; restrictive performing an identifying role, singling out the referent in the given situation: e.g. People protested in a march against the programme which the government was pursuing. I was seeking the monograph to which the professor had been referring in his yesterday’s lecture. The talk was given by the politician I have never heard of. Will you show me the new books you have bought?; appositive, while giving some qualitative description of the substantive referent, defines or specifies its meaning in the context of a nounal relation, pronominal relation, anticipatory relation: e.g. I was excited about the news that the professor was coming to hold some theoretical sessions. Are you interested in the suggestion that the office should be moved to the new premises? I couldn’t agree with all that she was saying in her favour. I couldn’t see anyone that might have been attracted to her. He rejected it what he found inappropriate. You must assume it that he needs our help;

adverbial clauses exposing temporal and statial localization, clauses of time and place: e.g. After the case had been reported to the police, the investigation was started immediately. He could see the deserted hut, where the old wall was hidden among the bushes; giving a qualification of the event or the process rendered by the principal clause, clauses of manner and comparison: (e.g. There was a moment of silence as if no one was aware of the comer. I am doing it as I was told. You must describe the situation as you understand. He looked a little discouraged as though he had been waiting unexpectedly long; presenting various circumstantial associations, clauses of attendant circumstances: e.g. As the meeting was going on, he was engaged in a lively conversation. While he is good at computers, I feel helpless and weak; condition: e.g. I’ll feel depressed unless I do well at the exam. If he had been workinghard, he would have had more career prospects; cause: e.g. As the data seemed dubious, he had to check them up. The journey was cancelled because it had been pouring with rain; result: e.g. The life looked so sheltered and lonely that he couldn’t settle down in the first days; concession: e.g. No matter how tired you might be, do not stop, go ahead. He was not an easy man, though he had a good reputation; purpose: e.g. Put on the warm coat in case it starts snowing. They are going to search the Internet in order that the report will be prepared on time.

Complex sentences with two or more subordinate clauses discriminate two basic types of subordinatation arrangement: parallel homogeneous and heterogeneous (compare: I won’t insist on anything unless we talk it over and unless he turns up, eventually. She asked her daughter what the matter was and why she was going to turn down the offer. The man I was afraid of wasn’t a real danger, only if he were treated kindly. If you have a look at the document you have just received, you’ll see no sign on it) and consecutive presenting a hierarchy of clausal levels (e.g. He could be a lot more trouble if you know what I mean. It was in the kitchen where the box was hidden as if I would dare to touch it).

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