Independent and dependent clauses

Independent and dependent clauses

Written language consists of a clause and sentence. A clause is made up of at least a subject and a verb. Sometimes it can have a subject + a verb + a complement.


  • ✓ Reading is my hobby
  • ✓ So he came late

Not clauses:

✘ To have good grades
✘ before going to school

There are two kinds of clauses: independent and dependent

Independent clauses

Independent clauses have a subject, a verb, and often a complement. They express a complete idea or thought. They can stand by themselves as a sentence.

An independent clause = A simple sentence

  • Birds fly. (Subject+Verb)
  • I am feeling well today. (Subject+Verb+Complement)

Dependent clauses

Dependent clauses do not form a sentence by themselves and do not express a complete idea or thought. They begin with a subordinator like although, where, if, so, because, until, etc.

A dependent clause = An incomplete sentence

Dependent clauses are formed by a subordinator + a subject + a verb + (a complement).

……. whom
am feeling

Here are some of the most frequent subordinators.

Subordinators: After – although – as – just as – as if – as soon as – because – before – even though – how – if – since – so that – unless – whenever – whether – whom – whose…..

See these two lessons: Linking Words and Addition and Concession.


Decide which of these clauses is independent or dependent. Write Indep next to the completed sentences and Dep next to the incomplete sentences. Paste your answers in the comment section below to get the correction.

_Indep_  1. Television has advantages as well as disadvantages.
_ Dep __ 2. because he drove fast.
_______ 3. Since women gain more independence and power.
_______ 4. Water boils at 100 degrees centigrade.
_______ 5. Even though cats are lovely pets.
_______ 6. Which is simply the
_______ 7. Astronomers May Have Witnessed A Star Giving Birth To A Black Hole.
_______ 8. skipping the supernova phase and going straight into a black hole.
_______ 9. When watching movies at night by yourself.
_______ 10. Also, globalization has opened new markets.
_______ 11. Language is the main means of communication among people.
_______ 12. Although television sometimes helps to spread wrong ideas about     cultures
_______ 13. fertile lands become deserts with deforestation
_______ 14. whom the voters elected during the last presidential elections in the USA.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here