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Analysis of English and Urdu Clause

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In this paper we aim to compare the grammar of English and Urdu which are the most widely spoken languages in Pakistan. In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that governs the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. English grammar is the body of rules that describe the structure of expressions in the English language. This includes the structure of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. On the other hand Urdu, the lingua franca of Pakistan has its own grammar which is somewhat similar to the grammar of English but it differs from English grammar in various ways. For example, Urdu has grammatical gender: all Urdu nouns are masculine or feminine. Some Urdu adjectives change according to the gender of the noun they modify, while others do not. There are no definite articles in the Urdu language. Like English, Urdu has transitive verbs (which require a direct object) and intransitive verbs (which do not take objects), but the difference plays a much more significant role in Urdu. There are two aspects of word order that are different in Urdu and English. Firstly, the standard word order is in Urdu Subject-Object-Verb as against Subject-Verb-Object in English. It’s also interesting to note that Urdu uses postpositions (which come after nouns), rather than prepositions (which come before nouns). In this context, Urdu native-speakers have problems with the correct choice of the English preposition itself.


The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and Modern English. The earliest period begins with the migration of certain Germanic tribes from the continent to Britain in the fifth century A.D., though no records of their language survive from before the seventh century, and it continues until the end of the eleventh century or a bit later. By that time Latin, Old Norse (the language of the Viking invaders), and especially the Anglo-Norman French of the dominant class after the Norman Conquest in 1066 had begun to have a substantial impact on the lexicon, and the well-developed inflectional system that typifies the grammar of Old English had begun to break down.

Urdu on the other hand, is a major language of South Asia which has been gaining in popularity since the advent of independence of India and Pakistan. It is one of the eighteen national languages listed in the Constitution of India, as well as the national language of Pakistan. Urdu is a South Asian language in the Indo-Aryan branch in the Indo-European family of languages. Historically, Urdu developed from the sub-regional language of the Delhi area, which becomes a literary language in the eighteenth century. Two quite similar standard forms of the language developed in Delhi, and in Lucknow in modern Uttar Pradesh. Since 1947, a third form, Karachi standard Urdu, has evolved. Literature Review This section starts with identifying the scope of work, then after reviewing elementary constituents of clause, the clause constituents are looked at, in this section of the paper. Scope of this paper This paper studies clause structure for the purpose of computation grammar for Urdu. The clause can contain types of clauses, and elementary items as its constituent. Some constituents are of main clause; while others always appear at subordinating clauses. This paper focuses on such main clause items only, because each of other constructions requires its separate study and analysis. Therefore, subordinate clauses are not included in this paper.

Elementary Items This section reviews the literature available on elementary constituents of the clause. Clause A clause is a group of related word that contains a subject as well as a verb. A clause is a meaningful combination of words, as it can, alone, express a complete thought. A clause can be a simple sentence. Hence, clause is also sometimes defined as group of words having a subject and predicate. It can also be said that each sentence consists of at least one clause.

Read the following simple examples of a clause:

  • He laughed.
  • I am sleeping.
  • He sings song.
  • The dark is barking.

The above examples reveal that a clause can be a simple sentence. A clause can also be a part of a compound or complex sentence which consists of more than one clause.

Read the following examples:

  • She is crying. (one clause)
  • The patient died. (one clause)
  • I waited for him, but he didn’t come. (two clauses)
  • He is going to college, because he wants to meet his friend. (two clauses)
  • My sister likes Biology, but I like Physics because I want to become an engineer, (three clauses) A clause by definition is a combination of words having both subject and verb. Hence, a part of a simple sentence can also be viewed as a clause.

Read the following examples:

  • They are laughing at a joker.
  • I saw him in the street.
  • She cooks food in the kitchen. clause types

Clauses have two major types:

  1. Independent Clause (Main Clause)
  2. Dependant Clause (Subordinate Clause)

Understanding ‘Main Clauses & Subordinate Clauses’ Read the following sentence: I saw a man who was crying. The above sentence has two clauses: ‘I saw a man’ and ‘who was crying’. The first clause ‘I saw a man’ gives a complete meaning and can alone stand as a complete sentence. Such a phrase is called Main or Independent clause. On the other hand, the second clause ‘who was crying’ does not give a complete meaning and cannot (as alone) stand as a complete sentence. It depends on the main clause to give a complete meaning. Such a clause is called Subordinate or Dependent clause.

Main or Independent Clause: Main clause or Independent clause is that clause which expresses a complete meaning. It alone can stand as a sentence. Examples I saw a man who was crying. The professor asked many questions but no one could answer. I met a friend who helped me a lot. They contacted the customer who had not paid the bill. He does not like the people who smoke. We met a man who could speak many languages. She loves her husband, who never tells a lie. Subordinate or Dependent Clause: Subordinate clause or Dependence clause is that clause which (as alone part) cannot express a complete meaning. It alone cannot stand as a sentence because it depends on the other clause (independent clause) to give a complete meaning. It serves a subordinate role in the sentence. Examples: I saw a man who was crying.

The professor asked many questions but no one could answer. I met a friend who had helped me a lot. They contacted the customer who had not paid the bill. He does not like the people who smoke. We met a man who could speak many languages. She loves her husband, who never tells a lie.

Dependent Clauses have further three types:

  1. Noun Clause
  2. Adjective Clause
  3. Adverb Clause CLAUSES In English, like the phrase, a clause is also a group of words, but it is different from a phrase. In a clause, you must find a subject and predicate. A subject is someone or something about which we say something.

A predicate is whatever we say about that someone or something. The predicate must have a verb. A clause can be analyzed into five different types of clauses elements. S= subject V=verb O=object C=complement A=adverbial Similarly, in Urdu, a clause is a part of sentence having a subject and predicate but not a complete sentence on its own.

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Analysis of English and Urdu Clause. (2018, August 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from
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