Clauses Exercise (384)

The following sentences all contain at least one clause; some contain two or three. Choose the answer that applies.

  • Pittypat was ill and in her bed when Gerald arrived the next afternoon.

  • She sent many messages of regret to him from behind her closed door and left the two frightened girls to preside over the supper table.

  • Gerald was ominously silent although he kissed Scarlett and pinched Melanie’s cheek approvingly and called her "Cousin Melly."

  • Scarlett would have infinitely preferred bellowing oaths and accusations.

  • True to her promise, Melanie clung to Scarlett’s skirts like a small rustling shadow and Gerald was too much of a gentleman to upbraid his daughter in front of her.

Answers and Explanations

1. Pittypat was ill and in her bed when Gerald arrived the next afternoon.

Correct: two clauses
Clause 1: Pittypat was ill and in her bed
Clause 2: when Gerald arrived the next afternoon

2. She sent many messages of regret to him from behind her closed door and left the two frightened girls to preside over the supper table.

Correct: one clause
The entire sentence is one clause. The subject is "She." The main verb is a compound: "sent and left." "Regret" is a noun, "closed" is a participle modifying "door," and "frightened is a participle modifying "girls." "To preside" is an infinitive.

3. Gerald was ominously silent although he kissed Scarlett and pinched Melanie’s cheek approvingly and called her "Cousin Melly."

Correct: two clauses
Clause 1: Gerald was ominously silent
Clause 2: although he kissed Scarlett and pinched Melanie’s cheek approvingly and called her "Cousin Melly." Clause 2 contains three verbs, but all three have the same subject: "he."

4. Scarlett would have infinitely preferred bellowing oaths and accusations.

Correct: one clause
The main verb is "would have preferred." "Bellowing" is a present participle modifying "oaths and accusations."

5. True to her promise, Melanie clung to Scarlett’s skirts like a small rustling shadow and Gerald was too much of a gentleman to upbraid his daughter in front of her.

Correct: two clauses
Clause 1: True to her promise, Melanie clung to Scarlett’s skirts like a small rustling shadow.
Clause 2: Gerald was too much of a gentleman to upbraid his daughter in front of her.

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