You should first go read about Phrases and Clauses so that you can better understand the information in this post.
Remember that clauses must have a subject and a verb. Any group of words with a subject and a verb is called a clause. In English, we have two main categories of clauses: independent and dependent.
We have already learned about Simple Sentence Patterns. If you missed this post, you will probably want to go back and read about simple sentences because
simple sentences = independent clauses
That’s right. An independent clause is just another name for a simple sentence. Independent means that it doesn’t need any help. It’s a complete idea, a complete thought. So our examples from the Simple Sentence Patterns post are also examples of independent clauses:
The young boy and girl ran quickly.
The young girl and the boy threw the red ball back and forth.
The young girl threw the ball to the boy.
There are two children in the park.
The two children became tired.
(See the post about Compound Sentences with Transitions and Compound Sentences with Conjunctions to learn how to combine two independent clauses into one sentence.)
A Dependent Clauses is a group of words with a subject and a verb, BUT it is not a complete idea, not a complete thought. It needs help. It needs to be connected to an independent clause, so usually, a dependent clause is a group of words with a subject, a verb, and a connecting word. (However, in English, there are times when we can drop/omit the connecting word because it’s understood.)
There are 3 types of dependent clauses:
adverb clauses – They help show relationships like cause/effect, time, compare/contrast, condition, etc.
After I learn about adverb clauses, I will use them in my writing.
adjective clauses – Just like adjectives, they describe nouns.
Adjective clauses, which can be difficult to learn, are used to provide extra information or help identify a person or thing.
noun clauses – These work like nouns in a sentence, which means we use them as subjects and objects.
I think that you already use noun clauses in your writing and speaking.
Look for more about each of these types of dependent clauses in future posts!
Photo by Jeremy Simpson on Flickr
Look at the picture above. Write a few sentences with independent and dependent clauses to describe what’s happening in the picture. Write your sentences in a comment!
Tags: clauses, dependent clauses, grammar, independent clauses, writing