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So I was trying to breakdown this sentence to identify its components into its main sentence and clauses. Here is the sentence:

Some economists now suggest that home equality loans are merely a new trap to push consumer beyond what is affordable.

Source: Longman Complete Course for the TOEFL Test (2001) by Deborah Phillips

My answer is:

Main sentence: Some economists now suggest that home equality loans are merely a new trap to push consumer beyond what is affordable.

Noun clause 1: that home equality loans are merely a new trap to push consumer beyond what is affordable.

Noun clause 2: what is affordable.

Also, I always try to replace the noun clause in a sentence with pronoun to see if it makes sense. In this case it would look like this:

Main sentence: Some economists now suggest it (as a replacement for that home equality loans are merely a new trap to push consumer beyond what is affordable)

Noun clause : That home equality loans are merely a new trap to push consumer beyond it (as a replacement for what is affordable)

Is my answer correct?

  • First, you should identify the main clause; the whole sentence is already known. Second, you should identify what type of subordinate clause each one is. "Noun clause" is right, but one noun clause is a tensed verb complement and the other one is an embedded question that's the object of a preposition. Also, clause 2 modifies clause 1, instead of modifying the main clause. – John Lawler Mar 11 '18 at 16:26
  • @John Lawyer What do you mean by tensed verb complement and embedded question? – user278175 Mar 11 '18 at 16:32
  • You have identified the three clauses correctly, though I would give the that clause its proper name of 'declarative content clause', since 'noun clause' is a misnomer. And the what clause is a fused relative clause meaning "that which is affordable". The sentence as a whole is best called the 'matrix clause'. – BillJ Mar 11 '18 at 16:32
  • @user278175 A tensed verb complement is one type of complement (Noun) clause. Embedded questions are another type. BTW, BillJ uses a different set of terminology than I do. – John Lawler Mar 11 '18 at 16:42
  • @BillJ@JohnLawyer thanks for the input! Never heard about those before, I'll look them up later... – user278175 Mar 11 '18 at 17:00

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