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Like a sentence, a clause contains a subject and a verb, but it forms part of a larger sentence.

Every sentence contains a main clause. This can be modified in a variety of ways by one or more subordinate clauses. If a subordinate clause modifies a noun phrase, it is called a relative clause. If it modifies a verb or the entire main clause, it is called an adverbial clause. And if it plays the part of a noun, it is called a noun clause.

In addition, a sentence can contain more than one main clause.

Relative clauses

A relative clause is a clause that modifies a noun. Relative clauses follow the nouns they modify, and they usually start with one of the relative pronouns ci and cual:

For clarity, a relative clause can be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas, especially if it’s long or complicated:

Some relative clauses are not essential to the meaning of the sentence, but simply add a comment in passing. Such clauses are always set off by commas:

Ci and cual can behave as either the subject or the object of the relative clause. Objects normally follow the verb, but when one of these is the object, it precedes both the subject and the verb:

When the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, the preposition comes first:

When de ci or de cual introduces a possessed noun within the relative clause, that noun is usually introduced by sua for clarity:

In some languages, a relative clause can modify the whole of the preceding clause. In Elefen, if that would be ambiguous, an expression such as lo cual, e lo, e esta or e acel can be used instead:

Another way to start a relative clause is with a relative adverb:

Such relative clauses are often similar to adverbial clauses:

Adverbial clauses

An adverbial clause modifies either the verb of the main clause or the main clause itself. An adverbial clause is introduced by one of the adverb subordinators (como, cuando, cuanto, do) or one of the special subordinators si, car, afin, and ca:

An adverbial clause introduced by an adverb subordinator (como, cuando, cuanto, do) can be thought of as an abbreviated relative clause. For example, the last three examples above can also be expressed as follows:

Noun clauses

A noun clause functions like a noun: it can be the subject or object of a verb or preposition. Noun clauses are introduced by the special subordinators ce or esce, by one of the pronoun subordinators ci and cual, or by one of the adverb subordinators.

To see if a clause is really a noun clause, substitute “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they” for the clause. If that produces a good sentence, the clause is a noun clause. Noun clauses are typically objects of verbs of thinking, sensing, or emotion:

Many noun clauses are introduced by the special subordinators ce (“that”) or esce (“whether”):

Noun clauses often report what someone has said, thought, or asked. In all cases, the tense of the verb in the noun clause remains the same as that in the original speech, thought, or question:

Relative and adverbial clauses can sometimes be confused with noun clauses. To clarify that a relative or adverbial clause is meant, add a noun or pronoun before cual or ci:

An infinitive verb can also be thought of as introducing a type of noun clause.

Coordinated clauses

Two main clauses can be linked together into a single sentence by means of coordinating conjunctions. A comma is often included before the conjunction:

Such clauses can stand as independent sentences, with or without conjunctions:

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Lo ia es automatada jenerada de la paje corespondente en la Vici de Elefen a 19 janero 2022 (17:13 UTC).