Main clause – proposition principale
Let's Define It!
What's a *main clause*?
A clause, known as une preposition in French, is a group of words that include at least a subject and a verb.
Sometimes, too, a clause can contain more than a subject and verb. In other words, a clause can contain one or more clauses within it. In this case, the clause being contained is called the proposition subordonnée (subordinate clause), while the containing clause is called proposition principale (main clause).
Another definition that can be useful: a main clause is a clause that can form a complete sentence standing alone, having a subject and a predicate. --> Je ne suis pas certain que vous soyez malade. I am not certain that you are sick.
Let's Pronounce It!
What does it sound like in French?
Let's Have an Example or Two!
Can a little reinforcement do the trick?
Here is an example of a complex clause including a main clause and a subordinate clause. We will underline the main clause for clarity sake:
Tom a mangé ce pain parce qu'il avait faim. Tom ate this bread because he was hungry.
Je reviendrai vous voir quand j'aurai du temps. I will come back to see you when I have some time.
Elle ne comprend toujours pas les explications que vous avez données. She still does not understand the explanations you gave.
Appelez la police si vous voyez le voleur. / Call the police if you see the thief.