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  1. This is the woman whose little boy is ill.
  2. The woman whose little boy is ill.

Here is my question. In the first, is "this is the woman" an independent clause with subject and verb? And in the second, does the sentence have a complete meaning? Is it an independent clause? Do these sentences mean the same thing?

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  • Ask yourself, "What is the subject and main verb of #2?" That might help you see the answer for yourself.
    – stangdon
    Oct 17, 2017 at 13:01

1 Answer 1

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[1] This is the woman whose little boy is ill.
[2] The woman whose little boy is ill.

The way you parse the first sentence shouldn't be:

[This is the woman (whose little boy is ill)].

but

[This is (the woman whose little boy is ill)].

The woman whose little boy is ill is a noun phrase with a relative clause 'whose little boy is ill' as a modifier. The noun phrase functions as a complement of the verb 'is'.

[2] is not a complete sentence; it's merely a noun phrase with a modifying relative clause. Just like the noun phrase in [1]. So it's irrelevant to say it's an independent or a dependent clause.

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