Verbs Exercise (401)

Determine how many clauses are in each of the following sentences.

  • At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam.

  • The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud.

  • The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side.

  • While Major was speaking, four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their hindquarters, listening to him.

  • They were so delighted with the song that they sang it right through five times in succession, and might have continued singing it all night if they had not been interrupted.

Answers and Explanations

1. At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam.

Correct: two clauses
At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern / which hung from a beam.

2. The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud.

Correct: three clauses
The hens perched themselves on the window-sills / the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters / the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud.

3. The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side.

Correct: three clauses
The two horses had just lain down / when a brood of ducklings filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side / which had lost their mother.

4. While Major was speaking, four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their hindquarters, listening to him.

Correct: two clauses
While Major was speaking / four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their hindquarters, listening to him. 

5. They were so delighted with the song that they sang it right through five times in succession, and might have continued singing it all night if they had not been interrupted.

Correct: three clauses
They were so delighted with the song / that they sang it right through five times in succession, and might have continued singing it all night / if they had not been interrupted.

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