Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

Subordinate clauses

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Why this? We ENCOURAGE you to produce COMPLEX sentences in the exam since you will have to show the complexity of your own thoughts, and let’s face it, when we think we don’t use telegrammatic language but embedded thoughts. In order to do so, to embed additional thoughts within the main ones, you will have to use clauses and connectors.

Remember a subordinate clause is a dependent clause, that is, it may contain a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence (i.e. they cannot stand by themselves and make good sense). They are often introduced or marked by a dependent connector (although, while, so that, etc.)

  1. Look at this table for a semantic categorization of subordinate clauses. We give them these names because dependent clauses work like adverbs, adjectives or nouns. If it works like an adverb, you will have to find out whether it answers one of the following questions: where? why? how? when? to what degree?

  2. Purpose, reason and result clauses: explanation and activities here.
  3. More purpose clauses: so (that), for, to, in order to
  • In order to+verb: Henry has to work overtime in order to pay all his bills.

  • So (that)+clause: Henry has to work overtime so that he can pay all his bills. That can be omitted: Henry has to work overtime so he can pay all his bills.

  • For+noun: Janet needs to take her car to the shop for an oil change.

  • To+verb: Janet needs to take her car to the shop to have the oil changed.

Practise here.

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Written by ElenaBen

November 8, 2007 at 1:49 pm

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