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Describing language
Describing language

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3 Combining sentences

Three small cartoon people are piecing together the words ‘subject’, ‘plus’, ‘verb’ with one holding a placard with indistinguishable writing on it
Figure 3 Subject + verb = clause.

Now you know all the different sentence types, you can start to look at more complex constructions. So far, we’ve been referring to the combination of a subject and a verb (and an object or complement) as a sentence. In some cases this is true, but the reality is a little bit more complicated than that. In linguistics, when we talk about the relationship between a subject and a verb, we talk about a clause. A clause is the simplest form of sentence, formed around one verb, and clauses can be combined into more complex sentences.