As the literal meaning of word ‘Complement’ a complement clause is a subordinate clause which is put in place to complete the meaning of noun, verb or the reporting verb. The words which are used to introduce a subordinate clause are called complementizer . The words ‘that’, ‘whether’ and ‘if’ are complementizer.
- I knew that she will fall out of love with me.
In the above mentioned sentence ‘that she will fall out of love with me’ is the complement clause.
- I don’t know if he loves me.
In the above mentioned sentence ‘if’ acts as whether. The meaning is “I don’t know whether he loves me or not.”
- It is true that I forced him to stay with me.
In the above mentioned sentence ‘that I forced him to stay with me’ is the complement clause.
Types of Complement Clauses
Following are the types of Complement Clauses:
Subordinate clauses which on their own serve as the direct object of verbs such as believe, tell, say, know, and understand; the subordinate clauses are the complements of these verbs. Examples:
- Believe me I saw him there.
- Tell him to get lost.
Subordinate clauses which modify various nouns such as story, rumour, and fact, and adjectives such as proud, happy, and sad; the subordinate clauses are the complements of these nouns and adjectives.
- I am proud to be associated with you.
- It’s sad to see his back so soon.
Subordinate clauses which on their own act as the subject of sentences with such predicates as be a pity, be a nuisance, be unfortunate, seem, and happen. These clauses are called ‘subject complements’ or ‘subject complement clauses.’
- It seems he’s hurt by her.
- It’s unfortunate to call quits.