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Independent and Dependent Clauses

Clause: A clause is a group of words containing a subject and a complete verb.

Independent clause: An independent clause can stand by itself and make sense. It contains the main subject and verb of a sentence.

The fans cheer at the World Cup games.

Dependent clause: A dependent clause cannot stand by itself. It depends on an independent clause for its meaning. A dependent clause is also called a subordinate clause.

When their favorite team scores a goal.

Complex sentence: A sentence that contains an independent and dependent clause.

The fans cheer at the World Cup games when their favorite team scores a goal.

Dependent clauses can be classified according to their role in the sentence. Adjective clauses, noun clauses, and adverb clauses all do different jobs.

Adjective clause: An adjective clause (also called a relative clause) is a dependent clause that modifies a noun.

The player who is wearing the number 10 shirt on the USA team is Landon Donovan.

The USA goal that would have won the game against Slovenia was not counted.

South Africa, which is the first African nation to host the World Cup, will not move to the knockout stage of the tournament.

England’s goalkeeper Green will not forget the day when he let the USA score an easy goal.

The team whose players work together has a better chance of winning.

The player whom my son admires the most is Steven Gerrard from England.

Noun clause: A noun clause is used in the same ways as a noun. It can be used as a subject, an object, or the object of a preposition.

The French coach did not shake the hand of the South African coach. What he did was inexcusable.

Many people criticized what he did.

The newspapers wrote about the poor attitude displayed by the French team.

I
don’t
know
 why
they
acted
that
way.

I
don’t
know
 how
they
will
act
in
the
future. 


I wonder if the French team will apologize.

What
they
should
do 
is
obvious.


Adverb clause: An adverb clause tells us something about the sentence’s main verb: when, why, or under what condition.

After the group stage is completed, sixteen teams will move to the knockout stage of the World Cup.

Mexico will move to the knockout stage because their goal differential is better than South Africa’s.

Although Mexico and South Africa both had four points, only Mexico will move to the knockout stage.

The USA will move to the knockout stage if they win their game against Algeria.

 

Words Used To Introduce Adverb Clauses

 

Time

Cause and Effect

Opposition

Condition

After

Because

Even though

If

Before

Since

Although

Unless

When

Now that

Though

Only if

While

As

 

Whether or not

As

As/So long as

 

Even if

By the time (that)

Inasmuch as

Whereas

Providing (that)

Since

 

While

Provided (that)

Until

   

In case (that)

As soon as

So (that)

 

In the event (that)

Once

In order that

   

As/so long as

     

Whenever

     

Every time (that)

     

The first time (that)

     

The last time (that)

     

The next time (that)

     

Punctuation rules:

Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses.

Mexico will move to the knockout stage, and they will play Argentina.

Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses.

Argentina took first place in Group B; they will move to the knockout stage.

Use a semicolon, a transition, and a comma to separate two independent clauses.

Mexico will move to the knockout stage; however, they must beat Argentina to move to the quarterfinals.

Use a comma after a transitional word.

The South African team will not advance to the knockout stage. Therefore, their hopes for another victory are over.

Use a comma if the adverb clause comes first in the sentence.

If two teams have the same number of points at the end of the group stage, their goal differentials determine the outcome.

Do not use a comma if the adverb clause comes at the end of the sentence.

Their goal differentials determine the outcome if two teams have the same number of points at the end of the group stage.

Use commas if the adjective clause is not necessary to identify the noun it modifies.

Brazil, which has won five World Cup Championships, will play Portugal on June 25.

Do not use a comma if the adjective clause is necessary to identify the noun it modifies.

The team that has won five World Cup Championships hopes to win again in South Africa.