Hello! I would really appreciate it if you helped me a bit with an English grammar assignment.

I feel bad for doing this, and I normally wouldn't ask someone to practically do my homework for me, but this is worth 25% of my final grade and I'm really worried. Emotion: sad

You see, I was given a paragraph and I'm supposed to identify the clauses within the sentences and point out their type (subordinate, independent...). Also, if clauses are subordinate, I have to identify their function (noun clause, adverb clause, adjective clause).

The highlighted sentence is the one I'm having problems with:

Compound sentences are very natural for English speakers. Small children learn to use them early on to connect their ideas and to avoid pausing and allowing an adult to interrupt.

Please, please, help me!
The secret to finding clauses is to look for the finite verbs, and then find the subject for each finite verb. In your highlighted sentence, what are the finite verbs, and what are the subjects? (Note that the number of finite verbs in a sentence has to be greater than or equal to 1.)

As anafterthought, some grammarians consider a phrase with a non-finite verb to be a reduced (non-finite) clause. I have assumed that you have been taught the traditional definition that a clause has a subject and finite verb.
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Thank you so much! And... I don't know if I'm missing something here, but I only see one finite verb in that sentence, the rest of the verbs are infitives, so... is that one long clause?

Man, I'm so confused. Emotion: sweating
You are right. The sentence is full of verbals (participles and infinitives).
Also I assume that your teacher has defined infinitive and participial phrases as "phrases," not reduced (non-finite) clauses.
So what is the main verb and its subject?
I think I get it.

The main verb would be 'learn' and the subject of said verb would be 'small children'. And if I understood correctly, that means that the verbal and verbal phrases are part of a long clause.(Right?)

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me; I really, really appreciate it. If I pass this class, I'll owe it all to you. Emotion: stick out tongue
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Small children (subject) learn (verb) something

The rest of the sentence "something" is a very complex infinitive phrase beginning with "to use" that is the direct object of "learn"

The phrase has other infinitives and gerunds as part of its structure, but there are no more finite verbs.