Clause A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. It may express a complete thought or not. See text for more information.
Punctuation for clauses When a dependent introductory clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, use a comma to separate it from the independent clause. If the dependent clause comes at the end of the sentence, no comma is needed.
Look at this sentence to illustrate …. Because Ryan arrived late, he was criticized. Because Ryan arrived late is a dependent clause and it appears at the beginning of the sentence, you must use a comma following it.
Heres another example … Although it was still dark out, Jim was getting ready for work. Although it was dark out is the dependent clause; it appears at the beginning of the sentence and therefore a comma will follow the clause.
Independent clause … Ryan was criticized because he arrived late. When the dependent clause is at the end of the sentence, no comma separates it from the independent clause.
One more example … Jim was getting ready for worth although it was still dark out. … although it was still dark out is a dependent clause and it completes the sentence. NO comma is used to separate it from the remainder of the sentence.
Make up a Yes-No question To determine whether a clause is independent or not, make up a Yes or No question about the clauses statement. An independent clause leads to a sensible question; a dependent clause does not.
One last thought … When you combine thoughts or sentences, you may find one thought becomes a dependent clause. Whether you use a comma or not depends on where you put that dependent clause.