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Independent Clause

Diverse parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives, as well as various parts of a sentence, such as the subject and the predicate, make up sentences. Clauses are produced when pieces of speech are combined. Combining clauses can result in full sentences. A minimum of one independent clause, or the union of a minimum of one subject and one predicate, must be present in every entire sentence.

Independent Clause

What Exactly Are Independent Clauses?

An independent clause is one that can be used as a sentence on its own (i.e., it conveys a complete thought). One that is unable to stand alone as a comprehensive sentence is known as a dependent clause (or subordinate clause) (i.e., it does not communicate or convey the complete thought).

A clause always has a subject and a verb, so keep that in mind. At least one subject and one predicate make up an independent clause. It conveys a whole idea.

For instance:

The waves collided with the rocky shoreline .

Because it represents a full notion and has a subject (the waves) and a predicate (collided with the rocky shoreline), the sentence above is an instance of an independent clause.

Independent Clause

What Makes an Independent Clause?

When a subject performs an action, an independent clause or independent sentence is created. The noun carrying out the activity is the sentence's subject. The action the subject takes in a sentence is called the verb. An independent clause can show up in simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

What Distinguishes Dependent Clauses From Independent Clauses?

Independent clauses are exactly what they sound like?independent. This means that they don't need any other clauses to make sense as a whole. However, in order to form a complete sentence, a dependent clause must be joined to an independent clause because they cannot stand alone.

In other words, they rely on independent clauses to form the sentence's structure.

Independent Clause

How Do Independent Clauses In Sentences Relate To Other Clauses?

To make sentences more complex and fascinating, independent clauses can be connected to other independent clauses or to dependent clauses.

There are three ways that independent clauses might relate to one another.

1. Using a semicolon

Writers might employ a semicolon to link two independent clauses if they would typically break them up into two separate sentences but instead choose to emphasize the closer connection between the two clauses.

For instance:

The ice cream station had an immense range of flavors; I couldn't make a decision on which one to buy .

2. Using coordinating conjunction and a comma

Writers may employ a comma plus one of the following coordinating conjunctions to further define the link between two separate clauses than merely adding a semicolon between them: for, and, not, but, or, yet, so.

For instance:

The latest tablet was more costly than I anticipated, so I had to save for a few more years before buying one .

3. Using a comma, a semicolon, and subordinating conjunction

The usage of a semicolon, subordinating conjunction, and a comma can all be used by writers to indicate the connection between two independent clauses.

For instance:

We had organized to go to the picnic today; however, it was snowing .

It can be tricky to remember all the punctuation required for this combination.

Just keep in mind the following equation:

; + subordinating conjunction +,

There are several ways that independent clauses might relate to dependent clauses.

1. A comma distinguishes the dependent clause from the independent clause if it occurs first in the sentence .

When a sentence starts with a dependent clause, it usually serves as an introduction to the sentence's primary topic or independent clause.

Because the subject appears so late in the phrase, it is important to employ a comma to communicate to readers the position/ location of the main subject. To draw the reader's attention, the comma in the sentence behaves like a flag.

This is how it appears:

Whether we go to the picnic or trekking, I am fine either way.

2. The dependent clause may also be included after the independent clause .

For instance:

They could not wait to go on the balcony because it had just started raining.

There is no requirement for punctuation when the dependent clause follows the independent clause.

3 Crucial Tips For Independent Clauses

Here are some crucial tips to assist you in understanding independent clauses:

What connection do these three categories of verbs have to one another?

Tip #1: Independent clauses must contain a subject and a predicate .

For instance:

Jeff likes to have strawberries and cream on his bread instead of butter and veggies .

There is only one independent clause in this statement as there is only one subject, Jeff, and only one predicate, despite the statement having an extra-long predicate and several modifiers.

Tip #2: A clause is dependent if it starts with a transitional word or subordinating conjunction .

For instance:

Although Jeff has poor taste in pies .

Does anything seem to be missing from this clause? Despite the fact that it starts with a transitional word, this sentence is not independent. Without the independent clause, which is necessary for this clause to make sense, the sentence would be incomplete or only include a portion of a thought.

Here is the same sentence modified to include an independent clause at the end:

Although Jeff has poor taste in pies, he is still one of my closest buddies.

The dependent clause is now completed, and the reader is no longer left in confusion or with an incomplete notion.

Smiling - Independent Clause

Tip #3: Writers must employ a semicolon, a semicolon plus subordinating conjunction, or a comma along with a coordinating conjunction to link independent clauses in sentences rather than just a comma.

For instance:

Dogs sleep throughout the day; rabbits sleep at night.

The previous statement would have a comma splice if a comma were used in place of the semicolon. Fortunately, this grammatical mistake can be readily avoided by becoming more accustomed to the semicolon, uncommon punctuation.

Types Of Sentences Using Independent Clauses

It might be challenging to spot independent clauses, notably in compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences, which use independent clauses to form many sorts of sentence structures.

Simple Sentences

One independent clause is all that is needed to make a simple sentence. Among them is:

The kitty chew my worksheets .

Kitty is the subject, and chew is the verb .

Finding independent clauses becomes challenging when you combine numerous clauses.

Compound Sentences

The acronym FANBOYS makes it simple to remember the compound sentences, which link two or more independent clauses with a semicolon or coordinating conjunction:

For; And; Nor; But; Or; Yet; So

Commas are required when a coordinating conjunction is used to unite two separate clauses.

Some writers like to use a laptop; others prefer using a notebook and pen.

Here, the first independent sentence is connected to the second independent clause with a semicolon:

She had three job interviews but is most interested in working with us .

A comma and a coordinating conjunction (connection word) are used in this sentence:

We initially assumed he was seeking out the company of his own kind when he asked this question, but eventually, we realized he was trying to get away from them.

The two sentences in both situations can be split into two distinct sentences while being grammatically correct.

Independent Clause

Complex Sentences

Independent and dependent clauses are found in complex sentences. A subordinating conjunction connects the dependent clause to the independent clause.

Among the most prevalent subordinating conjunctions are:

  • although
  • because
  • before
  • even though
  • if
  • since
  • until
  • when

Here are some examples of the same;

  1. She did not attend the party because she had told us about her problem .
  2. When my baby was at school, my mother came to us .
  3. Even though I forgot my wallet, I purchased the items on credit .
  4. Since you have finished your assignment, you can take a holiday .
  5. He will be delighted if he earns the degree .

Even though the sun was still up for another hour or so, all the echoes on the beach roused and screamed to the thundering of a gunshot.

I'm to be a miserable, creeping beggar, scrounging for booze, when I could be riding in a carriage!

The initial part before "when" in the third instance can be its own sentence.

This indicates that it is the independent clause. The section after the "when" is a subordinate clause because it can't stand by itself as a complete sentence.

Compound-Complex Sentences

At a minimum, two independent clauses and one dependent clause are wrapped up in compound-complex sentences. Complex sentences are usually long and contain both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

Here's an excellent example of this

I couldn't resist but join in, and we giggled together, peal after peal, till the bell rang again .

Run-On Sentences

When the required punctuation or conjunction is removed, sentences with independent clauses form run-on sentences. Any dependent clauses are broken down into fragments.

Run-on sentences and fragments are not excellent for writing, but they might emerge in fiction since they mirror actual speaking language. They are almost never suitable for formal, scholarly, or nonfiction writing.

Run-on phrases sometimes include the poor comma splice, which occurs when a comma is required to perform the function of a semicolon:

Perfectly fine: Bandits loot. Parents stress .

Run-on sentence: Bandits loot Parents stress .

Comma splice: Bandits loot, Parents stress .

Remedy: Bandits loot, and Parents stress .

Independent Clause Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences can be repaired by introducing a period between separate clauses, substituting a comma with a semicolon, or connecting them with a comma and coordinating conjunction.


Fragments are dependent clauses that have been given the weight of separate clauses. Fragments occur in everyday communication. We talk for the sake of efficiency and clarity, not for the sake of posterity.

Clause Fragments That Stand Alone

Avoid using fragments when writing professionally. Use fragments when recording dialogue.

Perfectly Fine: While the bandits pillaged the boat, the kid's parents fret about his protection .

Fragment: While the bandits pillaged the boat. The child's parents fret for the lad's protection .

Repair sentence fragments by inserting the lacking subject or verb. You can also link the fragment to its independent clause as a dependent clause.

A dependent clause, by principle, does not construct a simple sentence on its own. Sentence conjunction, such as that or when connects a subordinate phrase to the main clause of a sentence.

Consider the following:

I rode my bike that Sarah had given to me for my anniversary.

"I rode my bike," the primary clause of the sentence, is a full notion that may stand alone as a complete sentence. The words that follow ("that Sarah had given to me for my anniversary") are subordinate sentences to the main clause. They include a complete notion in and of themselves, with a subject and corresponding verb ("Sarah gave"), but it is the presence of the subordinating conjunction that demonstrates that the clause cannot exist on its own as an independent sentence.

It is dependent on the main phrase since it includes the object ("bike") that the dependent clause's verb ("given") addresses.

On the other hand, an independent clause can function as a complete simple sentence even if it is frequently part of a bigger sentence. A sentence is complete when it has a subject and a verb: "She smiled." No component of the sentence is dependent on something said outside the sentence.

In several cases, the inclusion of subordinating conjunction is the only thing that differentiates an independent clause from a dependent clause.

Consider how the addition of subordinating conjunction changes the following examples:

Independent: We showed up early to the seminar .

Dependent: When we showed up early to the seminar .

Full-sentence: When we showed up early to the seminar, the host was startled .

Independent: The shop doesn't close until 10:00 PM .

Dependent: since the shop doesn't close until 10:00 PM .

Full-sentence: Since the shop doesn't close until 10:00 PM, we have time to enough time to eat dinner .

Independent: The weather forecast for the storm .

Dependent: although the weather forecasts for storm .

Full-sentence: Although the weather forecasts for the storm, we are forging ahead with our goals for the trek .

The dependent clauses in these instances do not make sense as full thoughts on their own since the subordinating conjunctions linked to them (when, since, although) rely on information outside of the phrase. (However, they all appear to be typical text messages.)

Independent Clause

Examples of Independent Clauses

1. I like watching the latest movies .

2. Standing in line to get the tickets is tiring .

3. Our gates are closed at night .

4. Teacher always comes well prepared in the class .

5. It is great to get up early and sleep early .

6. He desired to roam the entire world .

Now here are a few examples of Independent Clauses that are connected using Coordinating Conjunction.

  1. The mountains are fascinating, yet the islands are much more fun .
  2. I went to the mall but forgot to buy my essential items .
  3. He visited the theme park and rode each ride there .
  4. I really needed roast chicken, but all they had was tortilla soup in the restaurant .
  5. The test will be on Saturday, and today is Tuesday .

Here are some examples of Independent clauses separated by a semicolon

  1. I went to the Motor Vehicles Department today; I took the practical licensing exam .
  2. Mary carried the drinks; Fred managed to bring the main course .
  3. This is one of my favorite novels; Premchand is another absolute favorite .
  4. My younger sister refuses to go to bed early; she is worried she will miss things .
  5. The lake is vast; the footbridge is narrow .

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