A clause is a group of words that includes a subject [a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun that represents the person or thing that performs the action of the verb] and a verb [a word that shows an action or state]. It can be a complete sentence with a meaning of its own, or it can be part of a longer sentence.
- She [subject] likes [verb] to read books. – one clause.
- While he [subject] was running [verb], he [subject] fell [verb] down. – two clauses.
Very Simple Definition:
A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb. It can be a sentence by itself, or part of a bigger sentence.
Examples, with each clause in brackets:
- [She likes to read books].
- [He was running] and then [he fell down].