I am happy.
When I get home …
… because he told me to.
Not a clause
A big house (no verb)
The man who … (no verb)
… wrote a letter. (no subject)
Independent Clauses (Main Clauses)
Marker wordsSome independent clauses start with . A clause must be independent if it starts with one of the following words:
His car was broken; therefore, he had to take the bus.
It was raining all day. Nevertheless, we went for a walk.
The train was late; consequently, I was late for my meeting.
Coordinating conjunctionsIf you combine two independent clauses into one sentence you will need to use a coordinating conjunction: for, and, nor, but, or, yet or so. This is not the only time a coordinating conjunction is used. Note that a comma is required when you combine two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction.
I think he’s nice, and he thinks I’m lazy.
It’s mid afternoon, yet the sun is already setting.
He bought me a gift, so I should buy him one too.
Dependent Clauses (Subordinate Clauses)
Subordinating conjunctionsDependent clauses often start with one of the following words, which are called subordinating conjunctions:
- as if
- even if
- even though
- in order to
Before I go home, I will stop at the supermarket.
If you call after 10:00pm, I will not answer the phone.
He won’t fix your bike unless you ask him.
I have to rest in order to be ready for tomorrow.