# Independent and Dependent Clauses

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Independent and Dependent Clauses
How do they work together?

Independent and Dependent Clauses
Independent Clause- a complete thought that can stand on its own. It does NOT depend on another group of words to make sense. It makes sense on its own. Dependent Clause-begins with a subordinating conjunction or “signal word” such as while, whenever, although, because, etc. It DEPENDS on an independent clause to form a complete thought.

Independent Clauses My mother and I drove to Jacksonville yesterday because we wanted to go shopping. “My mother and I drove to Jacksonville yesterday” is an independent clause. It makes perfect sense by itself.

Dependent Clauses My mother and I drove to Jacksonville yesterday because we wanted to go shopping. “Because we wanted to go shopping” is a dependent clause. It depends on the independent clause to make sense. If there is no independent clause attached to it, we would refer to it as a fragment.

Signal Words: Dependent Clauses
There are several words that usually signal the start of a dependent clause, such as: Because, although, while, when, whenever, until, where, wherever, though, even if, which, before, whether, if. (There are more, but these are some of the most common.)

Can you spot the dependent clause?
Although she is not a fan of broccoli, Mary loves asparagus and other vegetables. Whenever she is feeling blue, Clarice likes to listen to music.

Answers: Although she is not a fan of broccoli, Mary loves asparagus and other vegetables. Whenever she is feeling blue, Clarice likes to listen to music.

Can you spot the dependent clause?
Devon drove his girlfriend Lisa to the movies yesterday because she has been wanting to see the latest Brad Pitt movie. I exercised on my new treadmill while watching television.

The Answers: Devon drove his girlfriend Lisa to the movies yesterday because she has been wanting to see the latest Brad Pitt movie. I exercised on my new treadmill while watching television.

Simple and Compound sentences:
When a sentence contains one independent clause and NOTHING ELSE, it is called a simple sentence. Example: Mary rode her bike to the park. When a sentence contains two independent clauses, it is called a compound sentence. Example: Mary rode her bike to the park, and she listened to the band play.

Take Notice: The two independent clauses were joined together by a comma and a conjunction. If we left off the conjunction, it would be a run-0n sentence! Correct: Mary rode her bike to the park, and she listened to the band play. Incorrect: Mary rode her bike to the park, she listened to the band play.

Semi colons: Only semi-colons can take the place of a comma and a conjunctions when bridging two independent clauses together. Also correct: Mary rode her bike to the park; she listened to the band play.