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He said that an increasing proportion of boxes being sold online, where distinctive designs could make them stand out in listings, was contributing to the problem.

Explain the concept of embedding, with reference to this noun phrase.

  • The previously bold typed phrase in the sentence above was not an embedded clause. It was part of the main or matrix clause. – Mia Apr 22 '16 at 9:36
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In generative grammar, embedding is the process by which one clause is included (embedded) in another. Also known as nesting. More broadly, embedding refers to the inclusion of any linguistic unit as part of another unit of the same general type. A major type of embedding in English grammar is subordination.One clause may be embedded within another, that is, it may be used as a constituent part of another clause. Such a clause is called an embedded clause (or a subordinate clause) and the clause within which it is embedded is called the matrix clause. The embedded clause is a constituent of the matrix clause. A clause that could occur on its own as a sentence is called a main clause.

In the above-mentioned example"where distinctive designs could make them stand out in listings" is the embedded clause.The matrix clause is "He said that an increasing proportion of boxes being sold online was contributing to the problem." It is your main clause.

The embedded clause:

"where distinctive designs could make them stand out in listings"

The matrix clause:

"He said that an increasing proportion of boxes being sold online was contributing to the problem."

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