(In)dependent Clauses

An  independent clause is a group of words containing at least a subject and a verb, and which is a complete thought.

A dependent clause is a group of words containing at least a subject, a verb, a subordinator, and which is not a complete thought.

Subordinators used in Dependent Clauses

Conjunctions | Because, Since, While, Whereas, Although, Though, Even though, Before, After, When, If, Unless, In order to

Relative Pronouns | Who, Which, That, Whose, Whom

–Wh words | What, When, Where, Why

Types and Examples of dependent clauses

  • Infinitive Clause

I’m going to journalism school to become a reporter (When Harry Met Sally, 0:15)

  • Relative Clause

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing… (Kerouac, 1957) Fiction

  • –Ing reduced relative clause

The man making the bogus collections was described as middle-aged (Newspaper, Conrad and Biber, 2010)

  • –Ed reduced  relative clause

This, as we have seen, is the course chosen by a large minority of households ( Conrad and Biber, 2010)

  • Noun clause

Can you tell me what time it is?

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  • Adverb clause

Men, whatever benefit comes through (money), tries to enjoy it himself, whereas women… (they) want to make children the first beneficiary of (the money) (Yunus, Interview)

  • Supplement Clauses

She gazed down at the floor, biting her lip, face clouded. (Fiction)

  • Comparative Clauses

All are interested in the ending with a profit, a promise of profit, but the Americans seem to be more in a hurry than their counterparts.


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