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Dependent and Independent Clauses

English 2271

Kristin White

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Dependent and Independent Clauses

What are Dependent and
Independent Clauses?

Easiest thing to remember is...

Independent clauses can stand alone


Dependent clauses cannot stand alone.
Before deciding whether a clause is dependent or

independent, the statement must have



Check that first!

1) She went to the store.

2) When she went to the store

Which is the independent and which is the
dependent clause?

Well, which one is a complete thought?
Essentially, these sentences are the same, but when we add the marker word "
" the sentence becomes unclear.

We are left wondering what happened "when she went to the store."

The thought is incomplete.
Don't let these trick you..

Independent Clause Marker Words:

also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, and therefore.
What's the difference?

Dependent clauses often explain detail.

They often expand on the main independent clause, telling us more about the subject.

They might say when, how, or where something occurred.

that, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whose, whosever, whomever
Common Dependent Clause Marker Words:
Look for these marker words:

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.
2) When she went to the store...

Is the DEPENDENT clause.

It is NOT a complete thought.

By adding the word "when" to the beginning, we are left wondering what happened "when she went to the store.."
What is a clause?

A clause is a group of words that
ALWAYS has a subject and a VERB.

If it does not have a verb or a subject, it is either a fragment or a phrase!

Example: I was happy
because I got an A.

Without the independent clause, "I was happy," the dependent clause would not make sense.

Without the dependent clause, the independent clause would simply be less clear and less detailed.

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