Students understanding the complexity of language

Chapter 05-03: Clauses I – Analyzing for Clause Types


chapter 5: analyzing for clause types

As you can see, the FUNCTION SLOTS represent consistent structural patterns (who is hanging  out with who) that you will recognize easily when you become more  comfortable with the concept of clause types. More importantly, understanding the FUNCTION SLOTS of clause types provides a basic analytical strategy:
First, find the Main Verb Phrase. When analyzing for clauses, you must begin by identifying the Main Verb Phrase.  If you are having any trouble with this, please talk to your instructor or start a conversation in your work group.
Second, after finding the main verb phrase, ask yourself this question:
  1. Is the Main Verb Phrase a BE main verb (the main verb phrase ends with a BE verb)? If yes, then the Clause Type is Type II, Type III, or Type IV. Always.
  2. If the Main Verb Phrase is NOT a BE main verb, then the Clause Type is Type I or Type V.
There are a few exceptions (as always in the English language!), mostly for Type III or Type IV, when the Main Verb Phrase is an emotive  verb or a verb like FEEL (I feel sick), but we’ll talk more about each of the Clause Types in more detail in upcoming pages. So, for now, use these flowcharts to guide your analysis and begin recognizing the different function slots in the five clause types.