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What is an independent or a dependent clause?

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2016  |  29 Views
Topics: Grammar

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Independent clauses, also known as restrictive clauses, contain a subject and a verb and can stand alone as a sentence without additional information e.g., the sun is shining. Independent clauses contain the essential information being expressed in the sentence.

Dependent clauses, also known as nonrestrictive clauses, also contain a subject and a verb, but they are incomplete sentences that need an independent clause to make sense e.g., which is a pleasant surprise. A dependent clause provides non-essential information, and if removed, the sentence that contains it would still make sense.

Together, independent and dependent clauses create descriptive sentences e.g., the sun is shining, which is a pleasant surprise. Identifying whether your sentence is an independent clause, a dependent clause, or a combination thereof is important to understanding whether to use commas, semicolons, or colons to punctuate the clauses, as well as choosing between using that or which in the sentence.

Answered by Theresa BellBookmark and Share

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