It was as you said.

When I first heard it, I was almost certain that it is grammatically wrong. But when I searched Google, I realized it is used frequently (at least according to the book section).

"As you said" is a dependent clause that needs an independent clause, for "as" in that case is used as a subordinating conjunction. I just do not understand how that subordinating conjunction can be used WITHIN an independent clause. Also, I think that "as you said" is working as a predicative adjective phrase (though it is a clause) and this doesn't make any sense to me.

Is the usage wrong, or am I wrong? And if I am, why?


Well, subordinating conjunction CAN BE used in an independent clause. However, that's only when the subordinate clause introduced by a subordinating conjunction is a noun clause.

Ex: The reason is that I was sick yesterday.

You cannot say the reason is because I was sick yesterday. "Because I was sick yesterday" is not a noun clause.

  • It’s not a conjunction. It works the same as “It was like you said [it would be]”. – Jim Nov 30 '15 at 23:33
  • @Jim Well, I'm confused with the like one too. If it's not a conjunction, what can it possibly be? It is clearly introducing a clause, isn't it? – sooeithdk Nov 30 '15 at 23:36
  • "as you said" and "like you said" are adverbial phrases. The modify was in your sentence- they say how it "was". – Jim Nov 30 '15 at 23:44
  • Hm....! I think I'm getting the thread of it... isn't it adverbial clause, by the way? – sooeithdk Nov 30 '15 at 23:50
  • Yes, it's an adverbial clause because it has its own subject and verb. – Jim Nov 30 '15 at 23:52

It is defined in Webster's as a conjunction, meaning "in accordance with what or the way in which." Specifically it is a subordinating conjunction, which creates the dependent clause "as you said." However, the sentence as a whole is not an independent clause--it is a matrix clause.

Unlike independent clauses, a matrix clause must include a dependent clause.

He said that we were late.

This can function as an independent clause [He said that we were late, and we were], but how then we can account for the use of a subordinating conjunction? In this case, the subordinating conjunction that signals the dependent clause we were late, but somehow He said does not seem to be an independent clause. Grammatically, He said can stand alone—it has a subject and a predicate—but in some way it does not seem to communicate anything. With a sentence that includes a truly independent clause and a dependent clause, we get information from both.

When the movie is over, we’ll go downtown. We will go downtown. When? When the movie is over.

But how can we split up He said that we were late? We really cannot. We were late has meaning by itself, but the point here is not that we were actually late; the point is that he said that we were late. It takes both together to get meaningful information. In this case, the dependent clause is said to be embedded in the matrix clause.

  • Well, that's a that clause, the clause that can be used as a noun. But a dependent clause that is used with "as" cannot be considered a noun clause, right? – sooeithdk Dec 1 '15 at 1:06
  • Same deal. "That" is a subordinate conjunction, "as" is a subordinate conjunction, and "It was as you said" is a matrix clause that can be explained in the same way. "It was" could stand as an independent clause, but it tells us nothing without the "as you said." In other words, if I saw something you advised me to see, and later I on I see you, it would mean nothing if I say "It was." It only gains meaning when I add "as you said." A matrix clause is indivisible in that way. – user66965 Dec 1 '15 at 1:10
  • Ok... but then why is saying " the reason is because I was sick yesterday" wrong? It is supposed to be a matrix clause, right? – sooeithdk Dec 1 '15 at 1:14
  • I think I found it. The predicative clauses license subordinate clauses that start with as though/if, wh, and as. – sooeithdk Dec 1 '15 at 1:24
  • Yes, that's it. The key is the linking verb "is." Many people would say that "the reason is because I was sick yesterday" is wrong because it is redundant (reason/because). Better is "the reason is that I was sick yesterday." In either case, the predicative follows a linking verb. – user66965 Dec 1 '15 at 2:37

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