Independent & Dependent Clauses

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Independent & Dependent
Clauses
Clauses
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A clause is a group of related words.
A clause has both a subject and a predicate.
There are two types of clauses.
1. Independent Clause - An independent clause can
stand alone as a sentence.
Ex. We walk to school.
This sentence expresses a complete thought and can stand alone.
2. Dependent Clause - A dependent clause cannot
stand alone as a sentence.
Ex. When the cake is done baking
This clause does not express a complete thought and cannot stand alone.
Dependent Clause
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A dependent clause is a group of words that
contains a subject and verb but does not express
a complete thought.
A dependent clause cannot be a sentence.
Often a dependent clause is marked by a clue word
called a dependent marker.
Example: When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for
his chemistry quiz ….(What happened when he
studied? The thought is incomplete.
Dependent Marker Word (aka Dependent
Clause Clue Words)
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A dependent marker word is a word added to the
beginning of an independent clause that makes it
into a dependent clause.
Example: When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for
his chemistry quiz, it was very noisy.
Dependent Clause = When Jim studied in the Sweet
Shop for his chemistry quiz, Independent Clause = it
was very noisy.
Some common dependent clue words are: after,
although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even
though, if, in order to, since, though, unless,
until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and
while.
Clauses in Sentences
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If a dependent clause comes at the beginning of a
sentence, it will start with a dependent marker/clue word
and have a comma at the end of it.
Example: Because I was late, I had to run all the way to
school.
Dependent clause = Because I was late,
Independent Clause = I had to run all the way to school.
If a dependent clause does not begin the sentence look it
blended into the sentence beginning with a clue word
Example: I must drive to school when I miss the bus.
Independent Clause= I must drive to school
Dependent Clause = when I miss the bus
Connecting dependent and independent clauses
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There are two types of words that can be used as connectors at the
beginning of an independent clause: coordinating conjunctions and
independent marker words.
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1. Coordinating Conjunction
The seven coordinating conjunctions used as connecting words at the
beginning of an independent clause are and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet.
When the second independent clause in a sentence begins with a
coordinating conjunction, a comma is needed before the coordinating
conjunction:
Example: Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, but it was hard
to concentrate because of the noise.
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2. Independent Marker Word
An independent marker word is a connecting word used at the beginning
of an independent clause. These words can always begin a sentence that
can stand alone. When the second independent clause in a sentence has
an independent marker word, a semicolon is needed before the
independent marker word.
Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz; however, it was hard to
concentrate because of the noise.
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