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I can not tell you that, mate, but what I can tell you is that it was one day before my birthday.

Can someone please break this down for me please. Here is my attempt, first:

I can not tell you that, mate=main clause
but=coordinating conjunction

I don't know about the words in bold. What is not a subordinating conjunction so it can not be a subordinate clause...

I need to know if the bold is two clauses, phrases or whatever, so I can punctuate it correctly.

Thanks for your help.
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Comments  
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what I can tell you -- Subject of 2nd independent clause

is-- Verb of same

that it was one day before my birthday-- Subject complement of same
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Thanks, just to see if I have understand you here is what I grasped:

I can not tell you that, mate, but what I can tell you is that it was one day before my birthday

I can not tell you that mate- independent clause

but- conjunction

what I can tell you- subject of 'that it was one day before my birthday'

is- what do you mean by verb of same?

that it was one day before my birthday- you say it is subject complement of same, but you also said it is the second independent clause...

Sorry, it may seem quite trivial, but your help is much appreciated.
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Anaylsis of the large structure:

Independent clause #1 : I can not tell you that, mate,
Conjunction joining two independent clauses: but
Independent clause #2: what I can tell you is that it was one day before my birthday
__________________
Anaylsis of Ind. Clause #2:
Subject: what I can tell you
Verb: (Linking verb) is
Subject complement: (predicate nominative) that it was one day before my birthday
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Analysis of the subject of Clause #2
The subject of Clause #2 is a noun phrase formed by the fused relative pronoun what and a relative clause, call it Clause #2A.
[Note: The fused relative what is the understood fusion of that and which, where that is a demonstrative pronoun and which is a relative pronoun. that is thus the understood subject of Clause #2 and which is the understood direct object of the understood relative Clause #2A which I can tell you. what thus simultaneously serves both as the subject of Clause #2 and the direct object of Clause #2A.]
Understood demonstrative component of what: : (Subject of #2): that

Subject of Clause #2A: I
Verb of Clause #2A: can tell
Indirect Object of Clause #2A: you
Direct Object of Clause #2A: understood relative pronoun component of fused relative what : which
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Analysis of the subject complement of Clause #2.
The subject complement of Clause #2 is a noun phrase formed by a complementizer and a clause, call it Clause #2B.
Complementizer: that
Subject of Clause #2B: it
Verb of Clause #2B: (linking verb) was
Subject complement of Clause #2B: one day before my birthday
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Analysis of the subject complement of Clause #2B.
The subject complement of #2B is a noun phrase.
Determiner: a numeral: one
Head noun: day
Modifier: a prepositional phrase: before my birthday
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Analysis of the preceding prepositional phrase:
Preposition: before
Object of the preposition: a noun phrase: my birthday
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Analysis of the preceding noun phrase:
Head noun: birthday
Determiner: possessive adjective my
CJ
Haha, wow, I've printed off your comprehensive answer, so I can re-read it a few times! Thanks a load!

Could you please answer my question posted as PHRASES PLEASE HELP.

Cheers.
Hi, I have just two sall questions from your detailed analysis. The questions are based on your analysis, which I have copied below.

Anaylsis of Ind. Clause #2:

Subject: what I can tell you

Verb: (Linking verb) is

Subject complement: (predicate nominative) that it was one day before my birthday

The subject in this case has a subject and a verb, why is it not a clause? The word What, what is it as this is preventing the group of words being a subject. It cannot be a noun phrase as there is a verb present. What is this group of words called, other than being the subject?

Secondly, can the subject complement also be a noun clause or can't one have a linking verb joining a a noun (which seems to be the whole of the subject???) to a noun clause?
Can one only have a linking verb joining two nouns...

Thanks.
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Hi, I have just two sall questions from your detailed analysis. The questions are based on your analysis, which I have copied below.

Anaylsis of Ind. Clause #2:

Subject: what I can tell you

Verb: (Linking verb) is

Subject complement: (predicate nominative) that it was one day before my birthday

The subject in this case has a subject and a verb, why is it not a clause? The word What, what is it as this is preventing the group of words being a subject. It cannot be a noun phrase as there is a verb present. What is this group of words called, other than being the subject?

Secondly, can the subject complement also be a noun clause or can't one have a linking verb joining a a noun (which seems to be the whole of the subject???) to a noun clause?
Can one only have a linking verb joining two nouns...

Thanks.
Eddie88The subject in this case has a subject and a verb, why is it not a clause?
Nobody said it was not a clause! Emotion: smile
There are several bits of terminology that are confusing.
One set of terms applies to the individual words. 'house' is a noun. 'happy' is an adjective. 'quietly' is an adverb. And so on.
Another set of terms applies to groups of words that do not form complete thoughts or complete sentences, but which "go together". These are phrases: noun phrases, adjective phrases, verb phrases, and so on. 'in the corner' is a prepositional phrase. 'very unhappily' is an adverb phrase. 'the bird singing in that tree' is a noun phrase. 'what I did last summer' is a noun phrase. 'slept for ten hours' is a verb phrase. Phrases can have other phrases or clauses within them. The noun phrase 'the bird singing in that tree' contains the prepositional phrase 'in that tree', for example, and the verb phrase 'slept for ten hours' contains the prepositional phrase 'for ten hours'.

Another set of terms applies to the functions of phrases within clauses. The main terms that show function are words that show the function of noun phrases in a sentence. A noun phrase is almost always going to be one of these: a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, an object of a preposition, or a subject complement.
(Another term for a verb phrase is predicate. And, just to make it confusing, sometimes the term 'verb phrase' is applied only to groups consisting of consecutive verbs, not the objects that follow them.)
This means that the same group of words in a sentence can be labeled in more than one way. For example, anything that is a subject is also a noun phrase. Anything that is an object of a preposition is also a noun phrase. And so on.

Clauses almost always contain a verb. But on rare occasions the verb that is intended is so obvious that it is not stated; the word group is then often called a clause anyway. The verb may show tense ("be tensed", "be finite"), or the verb may not show tense ("be non-tensed", "be non-finite"). Depending on this feature, the clause is called a finite clause or a non-finite clause. Non-finite forms of the verb are gerunds, participles, and infinitives.

Independent clauses are those that can stand alone as complete sentences. These are either complete sentences or the clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions like and or but. All other clauses are dependent clauses. A non-finite clause can only be a dependent clause. But finite clauses can be dependent clauses as well.
Clauses can occur within phrases. These are all dependent clauses. Independent clauses are not embedded within phrases.
the man whom I saw walking down the street yesterday is a noun phrase, but it contains a dependent clause used as an adjective to modify the noun man.
into the house located across the street is a prepositional phrase, but it contains the noun phrase the house located across the street. The noun phrase contains the clause (which is) located across the street (also called a participial phrase). And across the street is also a prepositional phrase inside the larger prepositional phrase.
You have to think in terms of hierarchies and structures that are embedded inside of other structures. Emotion: smile
CJ
Eddie88The subject in this case has a subject and a verb, why is it not a clause?
A subject has to be a noun phrase, but this structure, called a fused relative structure, is a noun phrase that contains a (dependent) clause. Here is the derivation:
that thing (I can tell you that thing)
that (I can tell you that)
that (I can tell you which)
that (which I can tell you ____) [This is a demonstrative pronoun with a modifying (relative) dependent clause. All together, it's a noun phrase.]
that which I can tell you
(that which > what) [This is the 'fusing' part.]

what I can tell you
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Eddie88It cannot be a noun phrase as there is a verb present.
Your logic is not correct. The verb is part of the modifying clause. The whole subject (what I can tell you) is a noun phrase, as are all subjects. It so happens that there is a clause within this noun phrase (which I can tell you), and it contains a verb (tell), just as clauses do.
Eddie88can the subject complement also be a noun clause
Technically, a subject complement is almost always a noun phrase, an adjective phrase, or a prepositional phrase. When a whole (dependent) clause acts as a noun phrase, it can be called a noun clause. (But it's a noun phrase at the same time, actually, because it fits in the sentence right where a noun phrase goes.)
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Eddie88Can one only have a linking verb joining two nouns...
No. This was answered above. After the linking verb you almost always have a noun phrase, an adjective phrase, or a prepositional phrase. But a noun phrase may of course be expressed as a clause, as described above.
Here are a few examples showing the sorts of things that can come after a linking verb.
This is an umbrella. (noun phrase)
The cake is very good. (adjective phrase)

The butter is on the table. (prepositional phrase)

The problem is that we ate too much. (noun phrase in the form of a dependent clause = 'a noun clause')
This is what happened. (noun phrase in the form of a fused relative structure)
This is too hot for me to eat. (adjective phrase containing a non-finite (dependent) clause for me to eat)
CJ
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