What Are Complementizers?
Complementizers can introduce:
Complementizers Introducing a Relative Clause
Relative complementizers are used to introduce a dependent relative clause, which modifies a noun or pronoun in the main clause of a sentence. The relative clause provides additional information about the noun or pronoun that it modifies, helping to clarify its meaning. They can be relative pronouns or relative adverbs.
Complementizers Introducing a Nominal Clause
Nominal complementizers are used to introduce a nominal relative clause that functions as an object, subject, or complement in a sentence. They can be either relative pronouns or relative adverbs, such as:
The complementizer always appear at the beginning of a complement phrase.
Complementizers Introducing a Subordinate Clause
Subordinating conjunctions can function as complementizers, introducing a subordinate (also called embedded) clause within a sentence. There are many subordinating conjunctions in English, such as:
I am going to have problems quitting my job
We didn't enjoy the day
The Empty Complementizer
In some contexts, we can omit the complementizer 'that'. For example:
The result is called a null (or empty) complementizer. The relative complementizer can only be omitted when it is the object of the clause. When it is the subject of the clause, it cannot be omitted. Pay attention to the examples:
The man (
John is my friend
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As their name requires, conjunctions of condition are used to express events that need a special condition to happen.