Those Dependent Clauses

What oh what do I do with sentences that can’t stand-alone? I’m talking about Dependent clauses. What is a dependent clause? It is a group of words with a verb (Conveys action) and a subject. Unlike Independent clauses that can stand on their own, dependent clauses don’t express a complete thought and therefore they’re not a complete sentence. They must be joined to another clause to avoid making a sentence fragment.

Dependent clauses are often indicated by the presence of words such as; because, before, after, although, since, whenever, though, even if, while, even though, whenever, wherever. They often contain conjunction words such as; Nor, yet, but, and, or.

Example:

Because I lost my umbrella.

Because? Why? What? This is a sentence fragment if it doesn’t have a clause explaining what happened.  So it should be joined with a clause explaining or justifying the ‘because’.

Because I lost my umbrella, I got wet from the rain.

‘I got wet from the rain’ is an independent clause. Joining a dependent clause with an independent clause assures thought is expressed and it is now a sentence.

Dependent clauses can become more complex if we add subjects, objects, and modifying phrases:

Dale, who likes eating salty snacks, ate some potato chips.

Dale is the subject. ‘Who likes eating salty snacks’ is a dependent clause that modifies Dale. It contains ‘likes’ and ‘ate’ which are verbs. The potato chips are the object.

There are three types of Dependent clauses. Noun, adverb and adjective.

Noun –  They describe a thing or a person. Such as; living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.
Adjective –  They a describe noun such as; good, big, blue and fascinating.
Adverb – They describe a verb, adjective or adverb. Such as; quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really. (Don’t forget, a lot of filter words are adverbs)

Dependent Adverb Clauses

Adverb clauses will modify verbs and begin with subordinating conjunctions (join clauses, sentences or words. Like these; and, but, when.)

  • When the baby arrives
  • Because I can’t wait for the train
  • Since you don’t have enough time
  • Whenever you go to play
  • As if she knew what was going to happen
  • Until the tide turns
  • While children continue to learn
  • Supposing that he really wanted to stay
  • Before the cheese gets moldy
  • Although I never tried it
  • Unless I have the right combination
  • How he got the job
  • As the cars were moving
  • If you can rest on Sunday
  • No matter how you look at it
  • Than his friend can

Dependent Adjective Clauses

Adjective clauses modify nouns and often begin with a pronoun, (They replace a noun with words such as; I, you, he, she and some.) and sometimes with a subordinating conjunction.

  • That I gave him
  • Why the cake was terrible
  • Who is dumb
  • That was a deal
  • When the flowers bloom and grow
  • Which is located downstairs
  • Where I went to play basketball
  • Whom we met before the party
  • Who live by the office
  • Whose singing is always amazing


Dependent Noun Clauses

Noun clauses can act as a noun and name a place, person, thing or idea.

  • How he would get there
  • Why she did that
  • That you are talking
  • Whomever I like
  • If the ice-cream is on sale
  • Whoever stands in line
  • Who let the rooster in the henhouse
  • What he expected
  • Whether he can drink that much
  • Whatever makes you comfortable

Dependent Clauses In Sentences

These highlighted dependent clauses could easily be found accidentally on their own pretending to be sentences.

  • What Amber did.
  • After hours of revision.
  • While Scott was at work.
  • Why Scott said that.
  • Whatever is necessary.
  • That was in my desk?
  • Nobody wanted to drink it.
  • That you took.
  • Whenever I go to the movies.
  • Where I was hired.
  • Whom I have for Math.
  • Since nobody offered.
  • Whereas Dale has only one.
  • If you can explain why.
  • Until the bar closes.
  •  Whoever has the better layout.

Corrected Dependent Clauses

  • What Amber did was not very smart.
  • Dale finally finished his project, after hours of revision.
  • While Scott was at work, the neighbour’s dog peed on his door.
  • Amber can’t figure out why Scott said that.
  • Scott will do whatever is necessary.
  • “Where is the natty purple inked pen that was in my desk?
  • After Scott coughed on the coffee pot, nobody wanted to drink it.
  • That set of car keys that you took belong to Dale.
  • Whenever I go to the movies, I will sit in the middle.
  • The place where I was hired is on Main street.
  • The teacher, whom I have for Math, is a total jerk.
  • Since nobody offered, Dale didn’t get any cake.
  • Scott has two lovers, whereas Dale has only one.
  • If you can explain why, you can borrow the car.
  • You may drink beer until the bar closes.
  • The job goes to whoever has the better layout.

My advice about dependent clauses.
They are usually found during editing and revising. When read aloud they sound unusual or incomplete. They are easy to fix and when they are, it makes for easier reading.

-Sheryl

Other interesting posts.

Well colour me silly

Talking to myself

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

My Posts From The Start

 Natty

Advertisements

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

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

My Posts From The Start

 Portion