Clause Types Independent & Dependent … and …
Let’s start with a simple sentence… I bought a book. This sentence has the three basic elements required of either a simple sentence or a clause: Subject = I Verb = bought Object = a book
Now, let’s add another clause … While my mother drank her coffee, I bought a book. While my mother drank her coffee, I bought a book. Now we have a two clause sentence, but these clauses are not the same. The original clause I bought a book can stand on its own as a simple sentence. It expresses a complete thought by itself. Therefore, it is called an independent clause.
Independent Clause (IC) An independent clause is a S+V/ O bject or C omplement or A dverbial unit that expresses a complete thought and could stand on its own as a simple sentence. Whether you find an independent clause by itself as a simple sentence or joined with other clauses, you will be able to identify it because it: • is a S+V/ unit that • expresses a complete thought
But what about the other clause? While my mother drank her coffee, I bought a book. If we only consider the first clause, while my mother drank her coffee, we are left with a question in our minds, “What happened while your mother drank her coffee?!” This clause can not stand on its own as a simple sentence. It requires another clause to a complete its meaning. Therefore, it is called an dependent clause.
Dependent Clause (DC) A dependent clause is a S+V/ O bject or C omplement or A dverbial unit that does not express a complete thought and can not stand on its own as a simple sentence. A dependent clause must always be connected to an independent clause. You will be able to identify it because it: • is a S+V/ unit that • does not express a complete thought on its own
Dependent Clauses • There are 3 different types of dependent clauses. • Noun Clause (NC) • Adjective Clause (AdjC) • Adverb Clause (AdvC)
Noun Clause (NC) • [S+V/] that acts like a noun • Example: I think [you are sick]. Ithink[you are sick]. V S O Objects are nouns; this entire clause acts like a singular noun, so it is a noun clause. • NCs usually follow verbs as objects or complements • “Answers” the question “What?” • Example: • Q: What do you think? • A: I think Spiderman is the best superhero.
Noun Clause (NC) -- continued • NCs can begin with “that” • “that” is a subordinating conjunction that • joins it to an IC • makes the clause it begins depend on the IC to complete its meaning. • “that” is often omitted by native speakers: • Example: I think Spiderman is the best superhero. I think that Spiderman is the best superhero.
Adjective Clause (AdjC) • [S+V/] that acts like an adjective • Example: The story [that I am reading] is sad. [thatIam reading] S V relative pronoun This entire clause acts like an adjective, so it is an adjective clause. • AdjCs follow nouns • Often start with relative pronouns • but the relative pronoun can be omitted • if the clause has another noun to serve as the subject • EX: The story [Iam reading]is sad.
Adverb Clause (AdvC) • [S+V/] that acts like an adverb • Example: [After we drove to the mall] , we looked for a bookstore. This clause gives information about how or why the action happened, so it acts like an adverb. • AdvCs always begin with a subordinating conjunction • after although as because before even though if since unless until when