subordinate clause

  1. 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 .

Words Nearby subordinate clause Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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 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

subordinate clause

  1. grammar a clause with an adjectival, adverbial, or nominal function, rather than one that functions as a separate sentence in its own right: Compare coordinate clause, main 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