Main Clause

A main clause is a clause capable of making a complete sentence by itself. A sentence always contains at least one main clause, and a simple sentence consists only of a single main clause.

In the simple sentence Alice started making dinner, the whole sentence is the main clause. In the compound sentence Peter cooked dinner, and Alice did the washing-up, there are two main clauses connected by and.

Matrix clause

A clause which contains a subordinate clause within it.

In the complex sentence The employees who were dismissed are suing the company, the matrix clause is The employees … are suing the company, while the remainder who were dismissed is the subordinate clause contained within it.

A matrix clause is often a main clause, but it need not be: it can itself be a subordinate clause.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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