Independent and Dependent Clauses

Definition:

[1] An Independent Clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is a sentence.
[2] A Dependent Clause a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence.

[1] http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/598/01/
[2] http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/598/01/

When to use it:

Independent and Dependent Clauses are used in writing all the time. An independent clause may be a very lengthy sentence or a simple sentence or a clause the may stand on its own. They contain a subject and a predicate.
*Example:
I drive cars.
Obviously we do not want to use dependent clauses due to the fact that they do no complete a thought. We should try to avoid dependent clauses any way possible.

How can it help:

If you are able to identify what independent and dependent clauses are, you will be able to improve your writing. Knowing whether your statement is complete or not will help you tremendously. This may sound like a simple thing, but many of us make this mistake.

Correct Usage:

A complete sentence contains a subject and a predicate.
*Example:
Nate drove in his car to the baseball game. (Complete sentence)

Incorrect Usage:

*Example:
When John went to the parkā€¦. (What happened at the park? Incomplete sentence)

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