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.
- Also called de·pend·ent clause .
- Compare main clause.
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How to use subordinate clause in a sentence
A subordinate clause may be needed if the thought is of great importance.English: Composition and Literature | W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
English is fond of cordination of clauses; Latin prefers to subordinate clause to clause.Selections from Viri Romae | Charles Franois L'Homond
And other important matters,—thus again was the weightiest part of the business relegated to a subordinate clause.The Critical Period of American History | John Fiske
The independent part of the sentence is called a principal clause, and the dependent part is called a subordinate clause.Business English | Rose Buhlig
subordinate clause: Because (as, since) they wished to make the ice smooth, they flooded the pond.Business English | Rose Buhlig
British Dictionary definitions for subordinate clause
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012