Here is a sentence and I need help in identifying the clauses correctly.

"This does not mean that the damages are negligible."

Am I correct in assuming that this does not mean that is one clause and the damages are negligible another, the former being a subordinate clause and the latter a main clause?

1 Answer 1


I think you nailed it.

The damages are negligible - is the main clause.


This does not mean - is the subordinate clause

The main clause is a clause that has a subject and a verb and stands alone as a sentence. The subordinate clause is a clause that modifies the main clause.

  • When we mark the subordinate clause for the purpose of identifying or studying it, is it necessary to include the subordinating conjunction with it? I see that you haven't so I guess it is fine.
    – Elzee
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 6:02
  • @MaulikV You probably need to check the definition of main clause vs. subordinate clause again. For example, according to one of your links, there is this sentence: I doubt that she has arrived. Which part is the subordinate clause? Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    @DamkerngT. The way I see it, I doubt appears to be the main clause because that she has arrived functions as an object of the verb doubt and answers the question 'doubt what'? If that is correct, then that she has arrived is a subordinate noun clause.
    – Elzee
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 3:29

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