Clauses Are: Definition, Characteristics, Examples, and The Difference With Phrases

Clauses are – Words, phrases, clauses, and sentences are elements in the structure of language. These four elements certainly have different meanings. However, among the four elements, it is phrases and clauses that most people may rarely know about. Words and sentences maybe almost everyone knows what they mean, while phrases and clauses maybe only a few people understand their meaning.

On this occasion, we will discuss clauses, from their definition to their examples. So, read this article to the end, Sinaumed’s.

Definition of Clause

A clause is a grammatical unit in the form of a group of words with a predicative construction which then consists of a subject and predicate with or without objects, complements, as well as various adverbs and potentially as sentences.

However, in the realization of language use, the presence of this subject element does not appear explicitly (obviously) and only has a predicate element present, depending on the rules that apply to each language. This is common in null subject languages. A simple sentence alone consists of one clause, while a more complex sentence consists of several clauses.

Clauses themselves are often contrasted with phrases. A group of words is said to be a clause if it has a predicate and a subject, whereas a phrase then contains a verb without a subject or contains a subject without using a predicate in it.

For example, the sentence “I didn’t know you painted that painting.” are a clause and a full sentence, while “that painting” and “making a painting are phrases”.

Definition of Clause According to Some Experts

In addition to the general meaning of clauses, some experts also state the meaning of clauses. The following are some definitions of clauses according to experts.

1. Rusmaji

According to Rusmaji, a clause is an element of a sentence, because most of the sentences themselves generally consist of two clause elements.

2. Forecast

According to Ramlan, a clause is a core element of a clause in which there are S as well as P. However, S here is also often imagined, for example in a broad sentence, namely as a result of combining clauses and answer sentences.

3. H. Alwi

According to H. Alwi, a clause is a syntactic unit consisting of two or more words and contains an element of predication.

4. Chaer

According to Chaer, a clause is a syntactic unit that is predicative. That is, within this unit or construction then there is a predicate, if in that unit there is no predicate, then this unit is not a clause.

5. Arifin

According to Arifin (2008: 34) a clause is a grammatical unit in the form of a combination of words which at least consists of a subject and a predicate. This clause or word combination itself has the potential to become a sentence.

Clause Features

To understand about clauses, you need to know the characteristics of clauses. Broadly speaking, the characteristics of clauses are divided into two, namely a combination of several phrases and a combination of words that already have a subject and predicate.

A combination of several phrases

Phrases have characteristics, namely consisting of two or more words, do not have a predicate, have a grammatical function in a sentence. For example, there are several examples of phrases, such as brothers and sisters, singing, their favorite song. These three phrases then have their respective functions.

Siblings as the subject, singing is the predicate, and their favorite song serves as the object. If all three are combined it will become a clause or even a complete sentence.

A combination of words consisting of a subject and a predicate

A clause is a combination of words consisting of a subject and a predicate, and at first glance it looks like a sentence. The difference is, clauses do not end with final intonation or have punctuation in them.

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The final intonation that is read means the intonation of punctuation marks, orders, and news. Clauses also have characteristics such as consisting of two or more words, having a subject and predicate, having a grammatical function in sentences without ending intonation and punctuation. For example an example clause:

  • Clause: You don’t study
  • Sentence: You do not study?

A combination of several clauses can become a compound sentence, which is two single sentences which are then connected by a connecting word, so that it can become one whole sentence or produce a subordinate clause.

After knowing the characteristics of a clause in outline, then to make it easier for you to understand about a clause, you need to know an example of a clause. In the next discussion, we will discuss about the example clause. So, but see this article to the end, Sinaumed’s.

Example Clause

The clause itself is a group of words as well as a grammatical unit consisting of a subject (S) and a predicate (P). In a complete sentence, it must consist of at least one clause. But in some cases the sentences are more complicated, usually consisting of two or more clauses.

In general, the clause itself is divided into dependent clauses and independent clauses. A dependent clause is a clause that must be connected to other clauses in order to form a complete sentence. Meanwhile, independent clauses are clauses that can stand alone without being connected to other clauses to form a complete sentence.

To better understand it, consider the example of a clause in a sentence as follows:

Example Clause 1

Joni must maintain the best grades he has in each semester so he can get a scholarship.

– clause I: Joni must maintain the best grades in each semester

– clause II: Joni gets a scholarship

Example Clause 2

My father told me to continue my education up to college and major in Graphic Design.

clause I: Father told me to continue my education to college level

clause II : Father told me to major in Graphic Design

Example Clause 3

Andri promised not to disturb and burden our family again.

clause I : Andri promises not to disturb our family anymore

clause II : Andri promised not to burden our family anymore

Example Clause 4

He deserves the title of role model after he sacrificed his energy and time.

clause I: You deserve an exemplary title

clause II: You have sacrificed your energy and time

Example of Clause 5

Juni used a pole to pick the mangoes.

clause I : Juni uses a pole

clause II : Juni took mangoes

Example Clause 6

Grandfather wanted us to work and live in the village.

clause I : Grandpa wants us to work in the village

clause II : Grandpa wants us to live in the village

Example of Clause 7

Ghia used an online motorcycle taxi service and went to campus

clause I: Ghia uses online motorcycle taxi services

clause II : Ghia goes to campus

Example of Clause 8

Joni often fights because both of them are stubborn.

clause I : Joni often fights

clause II : Joni is equally stubborn

Example of Clause 9

Rena cancels going to Jakarta because she misses her flight.

clause I: Rena cancels going to Jakarta

clause II : Rena missed her flight

Those are some examples of clauses. From all the examples above it can be said that in one sentence sometimes it can produce more than one clause. This can happen as long as the clause is not punctuated at the end of the sentence, such as a full stop, exclamation point, question mark, and so on.

As previously explained, this clause can consist of several phrases. Therefore, sometimes there are still some who are confused in making phrases, but not yet into clauses.

To make it easier to understand the difference between a clause and a phrase, you can read the following discussion.

The difference between Phrase and Clause

At this point, we will discuss the differences between phrases and clauses. To be clear, here are the differences between phrase and clause.

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A phrase is a combination of two or more words that are bound and act as a unit, but does not contain a subject-verb pair. The main purpose of the existence of the phrase is to provide an explanation or explanation.

However, consisting of two or more words, a phrase itself does not have a predicate and cannot become a sentence. However, a phrase can be a subject, a predicate, as well as various other elements in a sentence.

Meanwhile, a clause is a combination of two or more words, one of which is a predicate element. In contrast to phrases, clauses can also potentially become a complete sentence. This is because the clause contains subject and predicate elements which are the archetypes in a sentence.

Characteristic features

The following are the features of the phrase:

  • Consists of two words and more.
  • It is non-predicative and does not contain a predicate in it.
  • Occupy grammatical functions in sentences
  • It has a denotative or connotative meaning, depending on the type of phrase

The following are the characteristics of the clause:

  • Contains a subject as well as a predicate in it
  • Could or could potentially be a sentence
  • It has no ending intonation
  • Including being part of a plural sentence

How to Distinguish between Phrases and Clauses

  1. Clause as subject and predicate, while phrase has neither.
  2. If there is a combination of words that does not convey meaning and cannot stand alone, it is a phrase, while a clause is in the form of an independent statement, which conveys thoughts or ideas.
  3. If the combination of words contains a subject as well as a verb, it is considered a clause, otherwise it is referred to as a phrase.


From all the discussion above it can be said that a clause is a collection of phrases or more precisely phrases that do not have a subject and predicate simultaneously. In addition, this clause is often spelled similar to a sentence. This can happen because the clause has not been given punctuation.

For example, when a clause is given a conjunction, it can become a compound sentence. Meanwhile, if a clause is punctuated with a full stop, it becomes a sentence. After reading this article to the end, do you know the difference between a clause and a phrase?

Thus the discussion of clauses, starting from the definition to the examples. Hopefully all the discussion above can be useful for you.

If you want to find books about clauses or books about Indonesian sentences, then you can get them at . To support Sinaumed’s in adding insight, sinaumedia always provides quality and original books so that Sinaumed’s has #MoreWithReading information.

Author: Sofyan

Source: From various sources

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