A clause is usually defined as a subject + verb, which, to me, is a syntactical definition. It's like: OK, so that's how it looks, but what does it mean? And, what's the relationship between a clause and a sentence?


1 Answer 1


A sentence consists of one or more clauses and it makes a statement (or expresses a desire or emotion, asks a question, or gives a command). A clause can do those things too, but it does not have to; a clause can simply supply supplemental info to one of them. A clause contains a verb, explicitly or implicitly.

Entering the room ...

Entering the room, I was surprised to see a cat on the mat.

taking this here bucket

Run down to the creek, taking this here bucket, and get me some water to make us some moonshine. Okay?

  • Sentences are not only statements.They can also be interrogative, exclamative or imperative.
    – BillJ
    Jun 23, 2023 at 5:47
  • Of course, that's right.
    – TimR
    Jun 23, 2023 at 11:51
  • And every simple sentence is a single clause. The real diff is that most of the rest of any sentence is composed of clauses (which have verbs) and phrases, which usually are equivalent to clauses but are missing something or have a special marker like a preposition. They're all constituents, which means they have internal structure and can appear as part of something else. Syntactic rules only apply to constituents, so it's important to identify them. Jun 23, 2023 at 22:04

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