The instructor said that the sentence below contains a subordinate clause ("... if only for financial reasons."), but I feel that what is being called a 'subordinate clause,' is just a phrase, as there is no verb. Can the verb be assumed and unstated? Or is the instructor wrong?

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

  • What kind of course was this example from?
    – gotube
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


You can interpolate the verb:

Money is better than poverty, [even] if [it is so] only for financial reasons.

I think it's a subordinate clause with those words elided, because "if" is a conjunction.

If it said

Money is better than poverty for financial reasons.

then "for financial reasons" would be only a preposition phrase acting as an adverb.


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