- a clause that modifies the principal clause or some part of it or that serves a noun function in the principal clause, as when she arrived in the sentence I was there when she arrived or that she has arrived in the sentence I doubt that she has arrived.
Compare main clause.
Also called de·pend·ent clause.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- grammar another term for subordinate clause
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.