I read that we can't use any subordinate clause at the beginning of our phrase.

I would like to know any advice to recognize them. Any memorization trick? If there are any, learning them by heart is the only way to recognize them?

  • Subordinate clause is always connected to a word in the main clause. That word ought to be a noun or a pronoun, often an object. If you can find the word to which the subclause is linked, you've determined that the clause is subordinate. – Victor Bazarov Sep 28 '15 at 23:47
  • It's been a week without a decent answer for some reason. Try reading this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunction_(grammar)#Starting_a_sentence , perhaps it can give you ideas where else to look. – Victor Bazarov Oct 5 '15 at 13:50
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    @VictorBazarov One possible reason that there is no good answer yet is that no one has ever heard the rule stated by the OP before ("we can't use any subordinate clause at the beginning of our phrase"). The more common rule is "Never begin a sentence with a conjunction", which is mostly about coordinating conjunctions (not subordinate, not clause). Another possible reason is that to answer the OP satisfactorily, one may need to go into details about clauses, conjunctions, sentence constructions, and then prove why the rule is incorrect (but useful, if one knows why the rule exists). – Damkerng T. Oct 5 '15 at 15:50

Subordinate clauses typically start with conjunctions (of, from, to, ...) and cannot stand alone as sentences. They are most often seen at the ends of sentences, but I don't agree that they cannot be at the beginnings. It's just that it can be trickier sometimes to get right/make clear.

The subordinate clause here starts with "to":

  • You gave the book to whom?.

Note that this version has the same meaning and is equally clear

  • To whom did you give the book?.
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    In what universe is "from" a conjunction? – Victor Bazarov Oct 1 '15 at 21:41
  • @VictorBazarov Probably in the one where "now on" is a clause. – tchrist Oct 1 '15 at 22:40

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