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BBI 2412 Writing for Academic Purposes. CLAUSES. What are clauses?. A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. e.g. The student yawned s v 2 types of clauses Independent and dependent clause. Independent Clause.

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What are clauses
What are clauses?

  • A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb.

    e.g. The studentyawned

    s v

  • 2 types of clauses

  • Independent and dependent clause.

Independent clause
Independent Clause

  • A clause that can stand by itself and still make sense. An independent clause could be its own sentence, but is often part of a larger structure, combined with other independent clauses and with dependent clauses.

  • It contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.


    The volcano erupted.

    S V

  • Independent clause is often formed with a complement.


    Glaciers often leavebehind holes in the ground.

    S V complement

Bbi 2412 writing for academic purposes

Independent clauses can be connected in a variety of ways:

  • By a comma and coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and sometimes so).

  • By a semicolon, by itself

  • By a semicolon accompanied by a conjunctive adverb (such as however, moreover, nevertheless, as a result, consequently, etc.).

  • And, of course, independent clauses are often not connected by punctuation at all but are separated by a period.

Dependent clause
Dependent Clause

  • Begins with a subordinator. (pg 163)

  • Does not express complete thought, so it can not stand on its own.

  • a.k.a sentence fragments.

  • Is formed with subordinator, subject and verb.


    ….when the volcano erupted

    Subordinator s v

How to differentiate
How to differentiate?

  • Dependent clauses can be identified and classified according to their role in the sentence.

  • NOUN CLAUSES do anything that a noun can do. They can be:

  • Subjects

    What Turveydrop has forgotten about American politics could fill the entire library.

  • Objects

    President Johnson finally revealed what he had in mind for his congressional leaders.

  • Objects of prepositions.

    Sheila Thistlethwaite has written a marvelous book about how American politics and economic processes often run counter to common sense

Bbi 2412 writing for academic purposes

  • ADVERB CLAUSEStend to tell us something about the sentence’s main verb: when, why, under what conditions.

  • After Jubal Early invaded the outskirts of Washington, Congressional leaders took the southern threat more seriously

  • Lincoln insisted on attending the theater that night because it was important to demonstrate domestic tranquility

    * Notice how the dependent clauses begin with “dependent words,” words that subordinate what follows to the rest of the sentence. These words are also called subordinating conjunctions.

  • Refer to text book (pg 163)

Bbi 2412 writing for academic purposes

  • ADJECTIVE CLAUSESmodify nouns or pronouns in the rest of the sentence.

    e.g. The Internet, which started out as a means for military and academic types to share documents, has become a household necessity.

  • Sometimes an adjective clause has no subject other than the relative pronoun that introduces the clauses.

    e.g. The Internet was started in 1969 under a contract let by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) which connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern US (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah).

    * Such clauses — all beginning with “which,” “that,” or a form of “who” — are also known as RELATIVE CLAUSES. The relative pronoun serves as the subject of the dependent clause and relates to some word or idea in the independent clause

Bbi 2412 writing for academic purposes


Run-on sentences