In this article we will discuss about the following topics:

  • Introduction of Clauses and Their Types
  • Introduction of Phrases and Their Types
  • Types of Sentences
  • Patterns of Sentences
  • Other Essential Clauses
  • Pattern of Punctuation
  • Positive Words

A sentence are structured by various groups of words that express complete thought or idea which is equally composed of clauses and phrases.


The main building blocks of sentence are clauses. A ‘clause’ is a group of words that contains one ‘subject’ and one ‘verb’.

Sometimes a clause will also contain phrases.



There are 2 types of clauses

  1. Independent Clauses: A clause is independent if it can stand alone.


The patient fainted.

Subject: patient       Verb: fainted

  1. Dependent Clauses: It is dependent if it depends on an independent clause


Because he is an experienced doctor, we defer to his recommendation.


Independent Clause:  we defer to his recommendation

Subject: we              Verb: defer

Dependent Clause: he is an experienced doctor

Subject: he               Verb: is           Conjunction: because

In this sentence, the dependent clause depends on the independent clause.


A phrase is a group of words that does not contain a subject or a verb and cannot stand independently. We use phrases to build a clause. Here is an example.

Our flight timewill beapproximately forty-five minutes.

Here the noun phrase our flight time is the subject of the clause. A clause has a subject and a verb. There can be other phrases, too.

In this next example, we use a prepositional phrase as an adverbial.

On behalf of the organizationwewishyoua pleasant journey.



There are five kinds of phrase.

1) Verb phrase: come, had thought, was left, will be climbing

A verb phrase has an ordinary verb (come, thought, left, climbing) and may also have an auxiliary (had, was, will).

2) Noun phrase: a good journey, his crew, we

A noun phrase has a noun (journey), which usually has a determiner (a) and/or adjective (good) in front of it. A noun phrase can also be a pronoun (we).

3 Adjective phrase: pleasant, very happy

An adjective phrase has an adjective, sometimes with an adverb of degree (very).

4 Adverb phrase: quickly, almost clearly

An adverb phrase has an adverb, sometimes with an adverb of degree (almost).

5 Prepositional phrase: after dinner, in the hotel

A prepositional phrase is a preposition + noun phrase.

NOTE: Subject Phrase or Subject Clause is always singular

No, what, which, every + where is singular in expression

Now consider this example

  • Whatever they want to do is fine with me.
  • The subject is the clause whatever they want to do, which is considered singular.


There are four types of sentences generally noticed during conversation. They are declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory

1.Declaratives, or declarative sentences, for statements (Facts).


  • New Delhi is the capital of India.


  1. Interrogatives, or interrogative sentences, for questions (Judgments).


  • Can you find my umbrella?


  1. Imperatives or imperative sentences, is a command or a polite request. It ends with an exclamation mark (!) or a full stop / period.


  • Fetch my umbrella!
  • Please bring my umbrella.


  1. Exclamatory expresses excitement or emotion. It ends with an exclamation mark (!).


  • You’ve broken my umbrella!

Note: Tag questions may also be used with imperatives and exclamatory

  • Take rest, won’t you?


Tag questions are attached to clauses that are interrogatives. The most common type of   tag question is the abbreviated yes-no question. If the question is positive, then the tag will be negative. If the question is negative, then the tag will be positive.


  • She loves to hear music, doesn’t she?
  • She does not hear music, does she?
  • What a mess he was in, wasn’t he?
  • How well she played, didn’t she?

As tag questions are the bye-product of the spoken English and slang it cannot not be brought under the strict sanctions of grammar.


Declaratives are the most common type. They are also the basic type, in that the others   can be most easily described by their differences from declaratives. Interrogative sentences are more readily understood and punctuation also helps to a greater extent.


From all the examples given above, we have come to know that one can’t correct the sentence unless one is comfortable in the usages of punctuation, conjunctions, and clauses in any type of sentences simple, compound, complex etc.


A compound sentence consists of two independent clauses joined by a conjunction. A comma must be placed before the conjunction clauses.


  • The CM is admitted in the hospital, and she seems to be very serious.

In this sentence comma is placed before the conjunction ‘and’ which join the two independent clauses.


Subordinating Conjunctions 

after                        although                       as                       Because                        before                        however                        if                        in order that                        till                        rather than that                       though                        once provided that unless                        when                        whenever            where                        whereas                        wherever                        while                        why                        so that                        than  even though            since                       until                                  whether



A complex sentence contains a main (independent) clause and at least one subordinate (dependent) clause.

Pattern 1

Subordinate Conjunction–>Dependent Clause–>Dependent Marker (,)–>Independent Clause

because I knew education was a privilege,I believed in studying.


Pattern 2

Independent Clause–>Subordinate Conjunction–>Dependent Clause

I believed in studying because I knew education was a privilege.

Note: that when the subordinate clause precedes the main clause, it is followed by a comma; when it follows the main clause, no comma is used. An exception to this punctuation pattern is with relative clauses, where punctuation is dependent on whether the clause is essential or nonessential. Relative clauses will be discussed later.



A compound-complex sentence contains at least two main clauses and at least one subordinate clause. The subordinate clause may precede or follow either (or both) of the main clauses.

Pattern 3

Independent Clause–>Subordinate Conjunction–>Dependent Clause–>Dependent Marker (,)–>Coordinating Conjunction–>Independent Clause

You are mad at someone you love, be careful of what you say because your mind is angry, but your heart cares.


Pattern 4

Independent Clause–>Dependent Marker (,)–>Coordinating Conjunction–>Independent Clause–>Subordinate Conjunction–>Dependent Clause

I wouldn’t say I am a feminist, butI don’t like girls pretending to be stupid because it is easier.



A relative clause is a specific type of dependent clause introduced by a relative pronoun.

Relative Pronouns

that                               which                             who

whose                             whom                             whoever

whosever                   whomever             whichever

Relative clauses may be considered essential (defining) or nonessential (nondefining). When we say that a clause is essential or defining, we mean that if it is removed from the sentence, some necessary information will be lost or the sentence will be grammatically incorrect. Generally, an sential clause modifies a general noun, and a nonessential clause modifies a specific noun.


  • A person who never made a mistake would have never tried anything new.
  • Tamil star Dhanush, who surprised everyone at a recent awards function with his special version of Kolaveri di dedicated to Amitabh Bachchan, says he would never do the same for his father-in-law Rajinikanth.

In the first example, person is a general noun. Without more specific information, it could refer to any number of people. Therefore, the dependent clause who never made a mistake never tried anything new is essential in order for the reader to know which person. In the second example,

Tamil star Dhanushis a specific noun. We really don’t need that additional information about him to know who he is, so the clause set off with commas is nonessential. Looked at another way, an essential clause makes a general noun more specific. It identifies, specifies, or particularizes a noun which, by itself, does not carry much information.


  • Relative clauses may precede a main clause, follow a main clause, or interrupt a main clause.
  • If a relative clause precedes a main clause, it is followed by a comma.
  • If it follows a main clause, it will require a comma if it is nonessential.
  • If it interrupts a clause, it should be set off by commas if nonessential.
  • No punctuation is needed before an essential relative clause that follows a main clause nor should an essential relative clause that interrupts a sentence be set off by commas.


Pattern 5

This pattern includes an independent clause with an embedded nonessential clause.

First part of an independent clause–>marker(,)–>nonessential clause–>marker(,)–>second part of an independent clause


  • This 5-month-old female infant, who is a known patient to our Dr.Batra Clinic, was admitted on July11, 2016.

The who clause is providing additional information but it is not essential to identification of the patient (Dr.Batra Clinic handles lots of patients).


Pattern 6

This pattern includes an independent clause with an embedded essential clause.

First part of an independent clause–>essential clause–>second part of an independent clause


  • This 5-month-old female infant whose parents noticed that it cried whenever his right leg was touched was brought to emergency.

Without the clause beginning with whose, we do not know which patients require followup. Essential modifiers are not usually separated out by commas.

The above discussion of essential and nonessential clauses could be applied to essential and nonessential phrases as well.

Conclusion: Comma, conjunction, group of words as clauses or phrases, makes the sentence descriptive and helpful in the removal of nonessential elements of sentences. And also, knowledge of other clauses is useful to get the coherence.



When the relative pronoun that is the object of the verb within its relative clause, it is often omitted, even in formal speech and writing.


  • On his next visit the patient is to bring in all the medicines that he is currently taking.
  • On his next visit the patient is to bring in all the medicines he is currently taking.

Note that these examples are clear and correct with or without the relative pronoun.



When it’s not possible or feasible to recast the sentence and put the clause in its proper place, it should be preceded by a comma to indicate that it is not modifying the immediately preceding word. Usually, misplaced clauses appear at the end of a sentence.

Place a NOUN and its MODIFIER as close together as possible – the closer, the better!


  • Jafon loaded the papers, carton boxes, and cans into his new truck, which he planned to leave at the recycling depot.

The subordinate clause ‘which he planned to leave at the recycling depot’, modifies the word ‘truck’. The subordinate clause is misplaced.

  • Jafon loaded the papers, carton boxes, and cans, which he planned to leave at the recycling depot.

The subordinate clause ‘which he planned to leave at the recycling depot’, modifies the words ‘papers, carton boxes, and cans’. The subordinate clause is not misplaced.


All the clauses get named as dependent or independent by considering comma. Hence, let us spend few minutes to know about the important punctuation ‘Comma’. In the error types of chapter parallelism and modifiers we will be really happy to have the knowledge of comma.


There are some rules of punctuation, such as how to punctuate correctly between two clauses. In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences.


  •  “Woman, without her man, is nothing” (emphasizes the importance of men), and “woman: without her, man is nothing” (emphasizes the importance of women) have very different meanings



Rules of Thumb

  • Place a comma where you would naturally pause in reading a sentence aloud.
  • When in doubt, leave it out (and then look it up to see if you are right).



1.Series Comma: A comma after each item in a list or series (except the last).


  • I went to the store to buy milk, eggs, sugar, and flour.
  • I ate some breakfast, worked for two hours, walked the dogs, and met some friends for lunch today.

NOTE: The final comma in the series is technically optional, but should be used for clarity.


2.Introductory Comma: A comma after introductory words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence (Adverbs, transitional phrases, dependent clauses, salutations).


  • Unfortunately, I can not fly to Mumbai with you.
  • Trying to be kind, I kissed the baby on the cheek to say goodbye.
  • Because she loved another man, she could not open her heart to Mr. Dhoni.
  • Dearest sister,


3.Independent Clauses Comma: A comma before the coordinating conjunction that joins 2 independent clauses.


  • The book captured my interest right away, and I couldn’t put it down all night.
  • My car wouldn’t start, so I took the bus to work today.
  • I have to go pick up my daughter, but you are welcome to stay until I get back.
  • I can get it done next week, or you can take care of it today.


4.Non-essential Elements Comma: Commas around words or phrases that could be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning.


  • My brother, who learned to drive at 30, has at least one accident a year.
  • PETA, which is legally fighting against Jallikattu, is trying to uproot Jallikattu.
  • CM, who stayed away from Marina Beach, took Kamarajar Salai to avoid agitated crowd.


5.Interrupters Comma: Commas around words or phrases that interrupt the flow of the sentence. [interjections, internal transition, and direct address]


  • I read, oh, maybe 100 books last year.
  • He has hearing problems, the teachers think, because he doesn’t respond when they call on him.
  • Are you coming, Laura, or are you staying home?
  • Being fired, on the other hand, can be very liberating.


6.Multiple Adjectives Comma: Comma between lists of adjectives that could be connected by the word “and.”


  • The smelly, [and] old basketball shoes stunk up the room.
  • The far-reaching, dire results of her lie ruined her life in the end.

Note: NO COMMA HERE- They slept on the cold cement floor for a week.


7.Clarity Comma: A comma in a sentence to make the meaning clearer and for dramatic.


  • Bill claims Joe is the best pitcher on the team. [In this sentence Joe is the best pitcher.]
  • Bill, claims Joe, is the best pitcher on the team. [In this sentence Bill is the best pitcher.]
  • Nothing matters in the end, except love and fulfillment, but mostly love.


8.Other Odd Commas

Name, title or degree


  • Mr. Ram, Student Council President, won the community service award this year.
  • City, state/country


  • I used to live in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, but now I reside in Paris, France.
  • Day, year


  • My best friend was born on September 10, 1993.
  • Numbers


  • We expect over 30,000 people to show up for the music festival this weekend.


9.Remember- No COMMAS WHEN. . .

  • They separate the subject from the verb

Wrong: Bill and Anna, won the dance contest.

  • They separate the verb from the direct object

Wrong: Judy wrote, the letter of recommendation last week.

  • Before/after prepositional phrases

Wrong: The winner, of the Nobel Prize, declined the award.

  • Between two items joined by “and, but, or”

Wrong: We can either play a game, or draw pictures.



To show closeness of two independent sentences where otherwise full stop can be used


  • Idea scattered; and this is how civilization grew.
  • She invited me; but I was not interest.
  • Some people like summers; others like winter.


C) COLON (:)

 1.For writing dialogues


A: What’s that?

B: Guess.


2.For presenting explanations, lists etc


Answer the following questions:

  1. What’s true? 2. What’s not true?

Her explanation was like this:


3.In headings and titles:


Video wills acceptable: Supreme Court

Punctuation: Apostrophe

Chapter One: Sentence Correction



1.  Direct speech


She said, “I’ll come tomorrow.”




The famous proverb goes, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”


3. To make the word stand out


  • He was the “wisest” fool of all times.
  • I like ‘Alice in the Wonderland’.



The rules about when to use a hyphen are not very exact. In general, the hyphen shows that two words belong together. It is usual in compound

expression before a noun.


  • gale-force winds

But when these words come after the verb, they are usually separate words.


  • winds reaching gale force.

Conclusion: Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences. We use punctuation marks to structure and organise our writing.