Independent Clauses depend on nobody.

I love my independence. As a grown up, I can do whatever I want to do. Individually I am a complete person. Sentences are made up of parts. I have been sharing my exploration of the parts of speech and sentences.

Necessary parts of sentences are clauses. Specifically I’m talking about independent clauses. One independent clause can be it’s own complete sentence. However using a dependent clause can make an independent one more interesting. With proper punctuation the two can be joined together to create compound sentences that are more interesting. What does this mean as a writer? It means by making sentences more complex and engaging the reader will enjoy what I’ve written more than, if it were all simple stand-alone sentences.

For example, I’m good on my own as I’m a complete person. However, I’m more interesting if I’m holding something fun or doing something exciting.

Independent clauses contain three components: A subject, Action and they express a complete thought(Something happened)

They can be as simple as only a verb and a subject

Amber bakes.

Since the reader knows amber bakes, a complete thought is expressed.

Two Independent clauses can be joined if they are related. It is imperative to use proper punctuation to bring them together.

Amber nibbled a fresh cookie; she really enjoyed baking.

Both clauses are independent. I’ll start with the first clause. Amber is the subject, nibbled is the action and cookie is the object. In the second clause she is the subject, enjoyed is the action and baking is the object. Both can stand-alone but since they are related, a semi-colon joins them making this a complex sentence.

If I were to join the two with a comma, it would look like this:

Amber nibbled a fresh cookie, she really enjoyed baking.

Because they are two independent clauses, joining them with a comma is called a ‘comma splice’ or spell check will yell at me to ‘consider reversing’. Yes, I do this when I write. I can usually find these bad boys during revision.

Examples of Independent Clauses

  • Amber enjoys sitting and watching movies.
  • Dale wants to go to the play.
  • Scott never comes to work prepared.
  • Amber and Dale agreed the forest hike fun.
  • Amber really wanted Earl grey tea.
  • Dale can hardly wait to go to his family dinner.
  • Dale and Amber want to keep their secret from work.
  • Scott’s behaviour toward Amber is scary.

Examples of Independent Clauses Joined Together by a comma 

  • Amber enjoys sitting and watching movies, but she thinks the books are better.
  • Dale wants to go to the play, for Amber won free tickets.
  • Scott never comes to work prepared, as he forgets his lunch often.
  • Amber and Dale agreed a forest hike is fun, but the beach is better.
  • Amber really wanted Earl grey tea, but they only had Orange Pekoe and Green.
  • Dale can hardly wait to go to his family dinner, but Amber was nervous about meeting his parents.
  • Dale and Amber want to keep their secret from work, but someone guessed she is pregnant.
  • Scott’s behaviour toward Amber is scary, but she doesn’t know she’s in danger.

Sentences with two independent clauses joined by semicolons

  • Amber went to the dentist; she got her teeth cleaned.
  • During their date, Dale noticed Scott spying; they went home.
  • Scott brought the beer; Dale brought the chips and dip.
  • Amber was happy; she had pickles and peanut butter.
  • Scott is going to the bar; he intends to stay there until it closes.
  • It rained at the park; Amber still enjoyed that portion of her walk.
  • Amber prefers to use a car-wash; Dale washes by hand.

My advice about Independent Clauses.
Two joined Independent clauses are a great way to spice up your prose. Make sure they are indeed two independent clauses and that the punctuation is correct. 

-Sheryl

Other grammar posts

It’s not, not negative

There is so much more

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11 thoughts on “Independent Clauses depend on nobody.

  1. Despite my love of the written word, the idea of clauses, gerunds, and the like makes my head hurt. Thanks for this simple reminder! (BTW, you wrote ‘colon’ instead of ‘comma’ in the title of the second example set. Just FYI!)

    Liked by 1 person

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