Modifier Clauses

Embedded Clauses can be included in a sentence to add more information to its main clause. They also fill a specific role within the main clause by acting as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. This Modifier Clauses series focuses on the latter two. Relative Clauses usually modify nouns (and thus are also called Adjective Clauses), and the so-called Adverbial Clauses can modify either nouns and verbs (although modifying verbs is more common), much like prepositional phrases do.

Table of Contents

Modifier Clauses

Intro to Clauses

Clauses are the foundation of so many grammar points; each different type of sentence structure is a manipulation of clauses, and some involve multiple clauses.  Lots of common mistakes among English learners (from beginner to advanced) can be corrected or avoided if the learners know how to properly form a clause. Whether your students have already explored complex sentences or they haven’t even gotten to compound sentences yet, an introduction to clauses may be helpful.

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Coordinating Conjuctions Diagram

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Adverbial Clauses

There are multiple types of Adverbial Clauses; each serves its own function as prescribed by the conjunction (like a preposition) they start with. The various types of Adverbial Clauses (Time Clauses, Condition Clauses, Clauses of Purpose and Result, Concession Clauses, etc.) are generally taught separately. It’s good to know each of them, but sometimes it’s more valuable to know what they all have in common.

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Subordinating Conjunctions

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Condition Clauses

Condition Clauses are one type of Adverbial Clauses. There are different types of Conditionals (based mostly on verb tenses), but Insights’s method bypasses the different types and considers instead how Conditionals work as a whole. The video starts by outlining the details for each type of Conditional, then works on finding the commonalities. Things get gradually simpler as it goes along. All students really need to remember is the table at the very end of the video.

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Table of Conditionals

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Backshifting by Verb Tense

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Backshifting by Aux Verb

Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses are also known as Adjectival Clauses; they fill the role of adjectives within main clauses, which means they exist to give more information about the nouns they are connected to. Here’s a method of 4 steps for turning two separate sentences into one complex sentence in which one of the clauses is a Relative Clause.

To keep things simple, we’ll only consider ‘non-restrictive’ (or ‘non-defining’) Relative Clauses while introducing the method.

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Steps to Forming Relative Clauses

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Beyond the Videos

Posters & Handouts

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