Before reading about the structure of subordinate clauses, check the information about the structure of main clauses, because there are many similarities.
There are two structural differences between a main clause and a subordinate clause:
In the above example dat is the subordinating conjunction. The vast majority of subordinate clauses begin with one. Nothing can precede the subordinating conjunction within the subordinate clause itself. (In the above example Ik heb gehoord is (a part of) the main clause, not the subordinate clause.)
In a subordinate clause the finite verb occurs together with any non-finite verbal elements towards the end of the clause. We call this the verbal cluster. Another constituent may follow the verbal cluster. What occurs in between the conjunction and the verbal cluster is known as the middle field.
So there are four aspects to the structure of a subordinate clause:
|subordinating conjunction||middle field||verbal bracket||final position|
Subordinate clauses can be classified according to:
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