I know I have covered some of these already, but I will do so again for those of you who haven’t read the previous posts.

Independent Clause

Has a noun or subject and verb/predicate, and can stand on its own.


The cat meows.

Jim snores.

Lucille annoys.

And so on.

Dependent/Subordinate Clause

This clause has a noun and verb but does not present a complete thought or action and is therefore not a sentence. It cannot stand on its own. Usually, it begins with one or even two words that will indicate that it is a dependent clause, and this word will establish the relationship the independent clause has with the rest of the sentence. These words act as clues that you are looking at a dependent clause.

Though, unless, while, after, whenever, where, because, whereas, whether, than, although, since, so that, until, if, whatever, etc.


Since I don’t leave my house, I have no friends.

Because he has sleep apnea, Jim snores.

As you can see in these examples, the dependent clause is separated from the independent clause by a comma.

A dependent clause can play the role of a noun, adverb or adjective.

The next post in the Basic Grammar series will cover noun, adverb, and adjective clauses.

Any questions or comments are welcome.