Subordinate clause – proposition subordonnée


Let's Define It!

What's a *subordinate clause*?

A clause can contain one or more clauses within it. When a clause contains several clauses within it,  the containing clause is called proposition principale(main clause) while the contained one is called the proposition subordonnée (subordinate clause).

A subordinate clause, because it depends on the main clause, is seldom complete. To get its full meaning, the subordinate clause must rely on the main clause.

For example, in "Je voudrais que tu viennes demain", [I would like you to come tomorrow] the part in bold is a subordinate clause introduced by the relative pronoun que. It's a (subordinate) relative clause.


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. The subordinate clause is underlined for clarity sake:

Tom a mangé ce pain parce qu'il avait faimTom ate this bread because he was hungry

Je reviendrai vous voir quand j'aurai du tempsI will come back to see you when I have some time. 

Elle ne comprend toujours pas les explications que vous avez donnéesShe still does not understand the explanations that you gave.


Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?