Writing has become a huge part of our lives. We write sentences when we send emails to our bosses and colleagues (even to our own professors), when we send texts, develop papers for school or work, or even when we leave a note behind as a reminder or memo addressed to a specific person. You may also see what is an example of a dependent clause.
Written communication wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the construction of these sentences. But for a sentence to be developed, what comprises one?
The answer to this question is really simple. Formal letters, general essays, paragraphs, and sentences all exist thanks to a group of words called clauses. In this article, we shall tackle the basics of one of the two types of clauses: the dependent clause.
These days, we often like to shorten our dialogues to acronyms or abbreviations of certain phrases or words. Although our personal lingo has made it easier to communicate with people who are like us, this has caused us to forget how to properly construct sentences that make actual sense. You may also like conditional sentence examples.
Now, imagine landing an interview for a college application at a prestigious university. But before you get to meet with the head of the department, they ask you to submit a college essay as a requirement. Naturally, you’d want to avoid committing any mistakes with your grammar and sentence structure. There’s nothing impressive about writing a one-page essay filled with simple sentences either. For this reason, it’s important to learn how you can vary your sentence structures for better delivery.
All sentences are made up of one or more clauses, which can either form a simple sentence, a compound sentence, or a complex sentence. A clause is defined as a group of words consisting of a subject and a predicate. Keep in mind that the subject is the who or the what of the clause. The predicate, on the other hand, may contain a verb or a verb phrase that indicates the action.
A clause is generally divided into two types: an independent clause and a dependent clause. While an independent clause expresses a complete thought, a dependent clause does not convey a complete idea. In other words, a dependent clause cannot stand on its own, which is why it must be attached to one or more independent clauses to formulate a complete sentence.
Let’s take this for example:
because he injured his foot
The example given is considered to be a dependent clause because it only presents the effect of a situation and not its cause. Though it does contain a subject (he) and a verb (injured), the clause does not make any sense. This makes it difficult for a receiver to understand what the speaker is trying to say. You may also check out fused sentence examples.
Tristan won’t be able to join the marathon because he injured his foot.
By joining an independent clause and dependent clause together, it’s easier to comprehend what is being indicated in the sentence. A dependent clause usually contains a subordinating conjunction that also serves as an indicator that will let an audience know that something is expected to follow. You might be interested in examples of prepositional phrases.
There are three basic types of a dependent clause: the adjective clause, the adverbial clause, and the noun clause. Each clause is different from the other, and to know more about this, let’s take a closer look at each type:
When we think of adjectives, the first thing that comes to mind are the so-called describing words. An adjective clause, which may also be referred to as an adjectival clause or a relative clause, are a group of words that usually come after the noun it modifies. You may also see compound sentence usage and examples.
There are three traits that define an adjective clause:
In a sentence:
The movie that Jonathan recommended scared the children half to death.
An adverbial clause functions exactly like a regular adverb. And since an adverbial clause does take the role of an adverb, then this means that it could also be broken down into several categories, namely the adverb of time, place, manner, degree or comparison, condition, concession, and reason. You may also check out parallel sentences structure and examples.
In a sentence:
Based from the examples above, we can conclude three things about an adverbial clause:
A noun clause simply takes the role of a noun. This can be a subject, an object, or a complement.
In a sentence:
A person who trusts no one can’t be trusted.
The noun clause in this example is the subject of the sentence.
Some people find it difficult to distinguish a dependent clause from a prepositional phrase due to how they both begin with words such as before, after, since, and until. So if you find yourself confused between the two, then try and recall what defines a clause and what makes it different from a phrase. You may also check out news article outline examples.
To refresh your mind, a clause simply contains a subject and a predicate (or verb), while a phrase does not.
Understanding how a dependent clause functions in a sentence can help us improve our means of communication in a variety of ways. This allows us to send our message across clearly enough for a receiver to understand. It is also important to know how a dependent clause works to avoid sentence fragments.
Communicating in fragments can potentially cause misinterpretations and misunderstandings between a writer and a reader. When this happens, a reader would find it difficult to grasp an idea being conveyed. You may also like free writing examples.
The best way to enhance your writing skills is to study and practice. By learning about the types and functions of a clause, you can then create an impressive written output containing a variance of sentence structures.